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NSCC partners with local breweries to offer crash course on beer-making

The Halifax instalment takes place this Saturday at Garrison Brewing Company
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Garrison Brewing Company (Meghan Groff/

Beer has long been enjoyed by Canadians – nay, many people of the world – for centuries, but here in Nova Scotia, we seem to take special pride in the sacred, sudsy drink. With more and more small-batch breweries popping up around the region, the Nova Scotia Community College has hopped (pardon the pun) on the bandwagon, offering a new course to both budding brewers and beer fans alike.

The one-day workshop (“Craft Beer – A Day at the Brewery”), is put on in partnership with the Craft Beer Association of Nova Scotia, and is being offered at three locations — Garrison Brewing Company in Halifax, Saltbox Brewery in Mahone Bay, and Wayfarers’ Ale Society in Port Williams.

NSCC’s Janet Specht says it’s the first time a course of this type has been offered to the public.

“Because of the huge interest in craft beverages in Nova Scotia, NSCC has developed partnerships and courses related to the sector,” says Specht. 

“It came from our working relationship with the Craft Beer Association of Nova Scotia. Boxing Rock Brewery in Shelburne had created and offered the workshop at their brewery, [and] CBANS approached NSCC requesting we offer the workshop through the college campuses throughout Nova Scotia.”

The Halifax instalment takes place this Saturday at Garrison Brewery, where registrants can expect to learn the beer-making process from start to final, fermented finish. Garrison’s director of sales, Jeff Green, says the course offers something for everyone — whether you’re a saison-ed vet, or just barley getting started.

“There’s an element of scale to our process that an aspiring brewery owner would want to experience,” says Green. “At the same time, it allows for a ‘peek behind the curtain’ for someone who is a fan of ours.”

The popularity of small-batch brewing has risen exponentially in the past few years — not just in Nova Scotia, but all over North America and beyond. 

“By the end of 2018, we will have 50 commercial breweries in Nova Scotia – that number was less than ten only five years ago,” says Green. “The surge is part of an international wave of folks turning to local, craft-brewed beer to satisfy their desire for a better tasting product that contributes money to our local economy.”

“As a leader in the Nova Scotia craft beer scene for the past 20 years, Garrison loves taking part in anything that will help grow the industry, which is why we are working with NSCC on this.”

There’s still space to enrol in this Saturday’s class in Halifax, which costs $86.00 per person. Specht says it’s open to anyone who is of legal drinking age.

“It’s intended for anyone wanting to know how craft beer is produced in Nova Scotia and who wants to get to know their local brewery.”

If you’re interested in learning more, you can visit NSCC’s Continuing Education website.

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