Guysborough’s Rare Bird Craft Beer has been brewing beer since 2004. The brewery, which is part of the Authentic Seacoast conglomerate of craft drink, food and hospitality businesses, originally opened on the town’s Main Street, a little more than a decade ago. Since the beginning it has continually undergone investment and expansion. Eventually, the brewery outgrew its original location, so last June it moved to a multi-million dollar showcase combined brewery/distillery at nearby at 75 Ferry Lane, adjacent to the company’s oceanfront golf course, Osprey Shores.
When asked why owner Glynn Williams started Rare Bird he says he just loves beer and making it. In addition the brewery is a key part of a bigger vision Williams has for his Authentic Seacoast Company, as he works to restore the village’s proud trading legacy, and to create sustainable jobs by producing iconic Nova Scotia brands and experiences. Williams adds: “Not only is Guysborough the birthplace of brewing in Atlantic Canada, it is home to one of the best artesian water sources in the world, making it a natural spot to build a thriving brewery.” For those unaware, explorer and settler Nicholas Denys established a fishing post in Chedabouctou (Guysborough’s original name) in 1659 and built a flour mill and commercial brewery.
Rare Bird keeps a simple portfolio of beers, rather than trying to match trends in the wide world of craft beer.
Their vision is to keep the beers authentic to their community and brewing history, creating craft beers that stay true to the constant values of good taste over time. Williams says: “It’s a vision that beer drinkers in the Maritimes tell me time and again that they appreciate.” He says adding new beers without a unifying theme or identity would create confusion and vastly increases brewing production complexity.
Rare Bird’s portfolio consists of three core brands, including a Pale Ale, Red Ale and Coffee Stout made with fair-trade coffee they have roasted right in Guysborough. They also make three seasonal brews that consist of a Pumpkin Ale, Maple Ale and Spruce Ale to complement their core brands. All Williams’ beer recipes have a taste of Nova Scotia, from the use of locally sourced and hand harvested seasonal ingredients.
When asked what can we expect new from Rare Bird in the future, he says they are looking forward to increasing the volume of hops sourced from their own hop yard, located next to the brewery . They also have a unique position as the only combined brewer and distiller in the province. In 2017 fans can expect to see limited edition premium offerings of barrel-aged craft beers, drawing upon the characteristics of their award-winning Fortress Rum and GLYNNEVAN Whisky.
The new Authentic Seacoast Brewery and Distillery opened in June 2016 and is an amazing showcase facility for the Province of Nova Scotia. It increased capacity 12-fold to allow Rare Bird to not only meet the growing demand for their beer, but also have a venue where they can showcase their products and engage with visitors and beer fans, sharing their passion and vision for what they do and the appreciation they have for their beautiful place by the sea.
Authentic Seacoast offers an extensive selection of award-winning products if you visit Guysborough. In addition to the brewery it also has an oceanfront golf course, as well accommodations, dining, and other visitor experiences. The brewery and tap room are open June 18 to Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with tours at 2 p.m., tours are also available in the off-season by appointment.