Nova Scotia Spirit Co. breaks into the beer business

Painted Boat Beer Co. launched Monday, with Stellarton location expected to open in the summer.

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Nova Scotia Spirit Co
. is broadening its horizons and getting into the beer business.

“It was kind of a natural progression,” says company president Alex Rice. “It’s something that we’ve kind of considered throughout the past couple years that we’ve launched the spirits brand.”

The Trenton-based company acquired a former Scotsburn dairy facility in Stellarton, which will be home to a distillery, restaurant and brewery next year. “That acquisition gave us approximately 30,000 square feet of expansion capabilities, so when we started doing the planning there, it kind of became a natural fit,” explains Rice. “There’s such a growth opportunity in experiential tourism and food and cultural tourism, especially in eastern Canada. To add beer and spirits under one roof we felt was a great opportunity to draw people off the highway.”

Nova Scotia Spirit’s expansion is called Painted Boat Beer Co., and although the Stellarton location won’t be ready until summer, the brand launched last week at The Seahorse Tavern.

“We’re going after a broadly-distributed, one beer model,” says Rice, comparing it to the likes of Alexander Keith’s or Mill Street Organic: “Very successful Canadian brands launched on the premise of having one really good beer.” Seasonal beers will be on offer as well, and wider range of beer isn’t off the table for the future—“but certainly our goal is kind of a one really good, easy-drinking beer that we want to deploy and roll out to beer lovers and consumers across Nova Scotia,” he adds.

Nova Scotia Spirit has its sights set on even more new booze, as Rice says the brewhouse provides the opportunity to make “100 percent grain to glass whisky products, which we have been considering over the last couple years.”

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