Hailed historically as a once unbeatable schooner on the high seas, the Bluenose now is spurring competition among modern brewing companies as another one enters the race to win the palates of beer drinkers during this year's 100th anniversary of the Bluenose.
Lunenburg's Shipwright Brewing has teamed up with the mighty Garrison Brewing Company to celebrate the Canadian icon with a new brew - Bluenose Lager.
Recently, Saltbox Brewing Co. of Mahone Bay announced it was producing a special commemorative beer.
"I wanted to make a special beer for the Bluenose 100 at my brewery Shipwright Brewing," owner Adam Bower told LighthouseNOW in an email. He cited a number of reasons motivating the move, including "being from Lunenburg, and also some family ties as my grandfather was the office manager of the Smith & Rhuland Shipyard when they built the Bluenose II, and he also owned a restaurant in Lunenburg."
However, recognizing that Shipwright is a small brewery, "we reached out to partner with some close friends so we could collaborate and make enough beer to last the season, and that was with Garrison," said Bower.
Touting itself as "Lunenburg's first craft brewery," and Garrison Brewing as "a Halifax original," the team launched its Bluenose lager in Lunenburg April 16.
Brewed concurrently at the Garrison and Shipwright breweries, the beer highlights the hard work, determination and tradition that embodied both the building of the Bluenose in 1921 and continues today in craft brewing, according to a media release.
The release explained that the idea came from discussions between Bower, who, in addition to owning Shipwright Brewing, also owns The Grand Banker restauarant and Brigantine Inn in Lunenburg, and Brian Titus, the president of Garrison Brewing.
"We were aware of the important milestone, but wouldn't consider doing anything without a strong Lunenburg partner" Titus stated in the release. "Then Adam called, and the pieces quickly fell into place."
The next step was to craft a special beer, and Brewmasters Daniel Girard (Garrison) and Kellye Robertson (Shipwright) quickly developed the recipe for a German Helles-style lager.
"We wanted a bold, traditional lager with a crisp but light bitterness from German Hallertau hops" said Kellye. "Daniel and I have worked together many times so I knew the results would be smooth, refreshing and perfect for celebrating the undefeated champion, dubbed the Queen of the North Atlantic."
The 473 mililitre can depicts both the Bluenose in sail and the shipwrights during the build. A portion of all can sales go to the Bluenose 100 committee and its mission of promoting and sharing the story of the Bluenose. "Their mandate is what this collaboration is all about" said Bower in the release. "Honouring the past and working for the future to help our unique community grow and prosper".
Bluenose Lager was to be available at both Garrison retail locations in Halifax and Shipwright Brewing and the Grand Banker Bar & Grill in Lunenburg and private stores on April 16, and province-wide in the NSLC stores next month.