Meander River Farm and Brewery
Appears in these categories: Breweries, Distilleries, and Vineyards
Meander River Farm is a 186 acre mixed farm operation specializing in hops and lavender. The property has been in our family since the early 1960′s and is now stewarded by us, the second generation, Alan and Brenda, and our children Fraser and Campbell. The farm house is estimated to be 200 years old and extensive renovations have extended its life for another century. The property boasts 2 kilometers of frontage on the Meander River, known by locals for its brook trout, spring kayaking and deep swimming holes. A tributary of the Meander River bisects the farm and boasts a deep ravine with the highest waterfalls in West Hants County. Historical maps and records show the presence of a sawmill and gristmill on the river, partly substantiated by the grist mill wheel reclaimed from the river and now integrated into the extensive perennial gardens on the farm. Local folklore suggests previous residents include a doctor, miller and a bootlegger, apparently a common occupation in rural Nova Scotia in years gone by. As a means of revitalizing the farm, we also pasture livestock. Pigs are our ploughs; excavator in the front, fertilizer spreader in the back, reclaiming neglected pastures to extend our fields. Chickens and turkeys fertilize as they weed. The farm is also home to Meander River Brewery, dedicated to creating delicious beer using ingredients produced on our farm and from other Nova Scotia farms. Our brewery is central to our farming philosophy of sustainability and environmental responsibility. Our livestock reclaim and prepare our land for our hopyard and lavender expansion, our brewery produces spent grain which is used as compost and as feed for our livestock, and the excess water from the brewery is recycled for irrigation of our hops which we use in our beer – completing the circle.
Beer tastings and tours of the brewery and hopyard are offered for our visitors to experience our passion for craft beer and the beer making process. We are also the first Nova Scotia brewery to offer a CSB (community shared brewery) program for beer lovers who want our local brewery to succeed while at the same time be recognized for their support. The brewery retail store offers beer tastings and beer sales in kegs and refillable growlers in addition to other products produced on the farm.
Currently the brewery is proud to offer our “always available” Lunch Box Pale Ale, named in the memory of Brenda’s father, who enabled us with the skills needed to fulfill our passion for renovating old buildings, and by bringing his lunch box to work every day instilled a work ethic in us that we value today, and an Ashdale Honey Brown Ale, named after honey used in the recipe and harvested from hives on the farm. We also brew seasonal ales highlighting our own hops and other locally grown ingredients – stay tuned for updates on our seasonal brews.
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