Raising a glass to HMCS Halifax – brewer supplies frigate with its own special brew

HMCS Halifax Brew

Cans of Ever Brave beer, brewed specially for HMCS Halifax by Nova Scotia’s Garrison Brewing Co. Photo submitted.

Joanie Veitch 
Trident Newspaper

When HMCS Halifax left Halifax March 19 to join Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 in northern Europe, the ship’s crew had a little something extra on board — a hundred cases of beer brewed especially for them.

Garrison Brewing Company, one of Nova Scotia’s first craft breweries, made a batch of ale called Ever Brave for the crew prior to their departure. Proceeds from beer sales will go to the Halifax and Region Military Family Resource Centre.

The idea for a special brew came from the ship’s company who reached out to Garrison, says Meg Brennan, director of sales with Garrison Brewing, adding that while Garrison regularly supplies beer to ship’s crews, this was the first time they’ve been asked to brew an exclusive batch.

“It was great to be able to show our support for the crew as they left on their mission to support NATO in the Baltic Region,” she says.

Similar to Garrison’s Tall Ship beer, Ever Brave is an East Coast ale with an easygoing style. At 4.5 per cent ABV (alcohol by volume), it’s also relatively low in alcohol. The can design depicts the ship’s crest superimposed over a stormy sea.

“We worked with the crew on the design and the style. It was a fun project,” Brennan adds.

The original plan was for the beer to be a “one-off” brew for the crew and their mission in support of Operation Reassurance, NATO’s deterrence measures against Russian aggression. However, after a lot of social media attention, Garrison is “actively pursuing” the possibility of brewing another batch or two.

“We had a ton of people reach out wanting to buy it. It generated a lot of interest from the community, as well as family and friends of those on board the ship. It really has been incredible; it has been daily ever since the ship sailed in March,” Brennan says.

If they get the go-ahead to brew more, it will be sold through Garrison Brewing’s online store, with a dollar from the purchase of each can going to the local MFRC and the many programs they offer in support of military families.

Garrison Brewing was started in 1997 by Brian Titus, now president and general manager of the company. Titus was a former fleet diver in the Royal Canadian Navy.

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