Authentic Seacoast celebrates grand opening of new distillery and brewery

Spirits rise in Guysborough

By Lois Ann Dort    
June 22 2016

GUYSBOROUGH – The day of the grand opening of the Authentic Seacoast Company’s newest venture, a distillery and brewery, could not have been more perfect: sunny skies with a few drifting clouds and a strong but pleasant breeze kept event-goers comfortable. Between 300 and 400 people, both local and from across North America turned out for the opening day event on Saturday afternoon and were treated to a scrumptious array of finger food, a taste of the locally made spirits and a few speeches to put the day in context.

The celebration began with a fife and drum band on loan from Parks Canada, which has been collaborating with the Authentic Seacoast Company in producing Fortress Rum at the Fortress of Louisbourg since September of 2014. Following that introduction Authentic Seacoast proprietor Glynn Williams spoke to those assembled about the 27-year journey to this point in his local business career. From the early years, when he first came to the Guysborough area as a tourist, to building up the Authentic Seacoast Company’s family of businesses which include DesBarres Manor Inn, Skipping Stone Cafe, Full Steam Coffee Company, Rare Bird Pub, Osprey Shores Golf Course and the Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company, Williams spoke of the commitment of staff and family to these ventures. Williams said of his many enterprises, “We can do it here.”

“What we try to do is speak to the heritage, traditions, and culture that exist here that are very special....Guysborough is the birthplace of maritime brewing in 1659,” said Williams, who went on to discuss the history of the area. “After 400 years I think we’ve got a lot to celebrate in terms of diversity, in terms of experiences and I think one can get to the heart of what Nova Scotia represents in this community and in this beautiful part of the world.”

Williams thanked his family and staff for their support, dedication and hard work that led to the development and opening of the distillery. “Anyone can make beer and moonshine but to make it at the level the NSLC requires, that’s not easy.”

The new distillery and brewery has been in the making for just under two years. Many hands and heads went into the design and construction of the facility and Williams credited them all for a job well done. He said the building was designed to fit into instead of stand out from the local architecture and landscape; attention to detail was key to realizing that directive.

The new facility houses, in three connected buildings: a hospitality room, still house, brew hall, milling room, packaging hall and warehouse totalling over 22,000 square feet. The still house accommodates three copper stills made by Vendome Copper & Brassworks of Louisville, Kentucky and the new brew house has increased brewing capacity by 12 times the previous volume.

Prior to public tours of the new facility a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the grand opening of the newest Authentic Seacoast Company venture. As the cloth fell from the plaque a canon boomed to mark the event.

As people excitedly lined up for tours, warden of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough Vernon Pitts mused on the importance of the day and the contributions the Authentic Seacoast Company has brought to Guysborough and surrounding areas. “It’s a great day for Mr. Williams and the municipality. Any time we get a business opening it is a great day for everyone involved...There are 25 employees at present and they look forward to ramping up to 50. That’s fantastic. That’s local people working in our area.

“The best kept secret in Nova Scotia was the Municipality of the District of Guysborough; one of our hidden gems. But he’s (Williams) pretty well brought it to the forefront today,” said Pitts.

The new Authentic Seacoast distillery and brewery is now open to the public. Tours and tastings are available at 2 p.m. throughout the summer and by appointment during the winter months.