East Coast Crafted dives into stories of craft beer in Atlantic Canada

Chris Reynolds of Stillwell and Whitney Moran of Nimbus Publishing spent almost two years crafting this guidebook.

click to enlarge Whitney Moran hopes her book will “entice people to go on these beer journeys.” - JESSICA EMIN
Jessica Emin
Whitney Moran hopes her book will “entice people to go on these beer journeys.”

East Coast Crafted launch
Saturday December 9, 12pm
Stillwell, 1672 Barrington Street

"We want it to be a few different books in one book," Chris Reynolds says of East Coast Crafted. "It's supposed to be kind of a coffee table book that is a celebration of our scene."

Reynolds—co-owner of Stillwell beer bar—teamed up with (former Coast writer) Whitney Moran of Nimbus Publishing to put the tome together. The process took close to two years, and the result is an almost-comprehensive guide to craft beer in the region.

"It was sort of a bittersweet thing when a new brewery would open. Like, 'Oh, that's so great! But now we have to cover it,' so we did have to institute a cut-off," says Moran.

"If there's a brewery that was open before July of 2017 that's not in the book—I won't eat my hat—but I'll be very, very surprised," adds Reynolds.

Moran felt the number of craft breweries popping up around here and the rest of the Atlantic provinces warranted a book, and she knew "if we don't do it, someone else will." She'd originally intended to be the book's editor and not necessarily a writer, while Reynolds offered to pitch in one chapter. Obviously, things turned out a little differently.

In order to tackle the plethora of businesses, Reynolds and Moran split them up: Reynolds took on Newfoundland and Labrador, while Moran looked after PEI. Each took half of the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick breweries, and they divided up any new ones as they came up.

"We hadn't been to some of these breweries before, either because they were new or because they were in places that we didn't usually go to," explains Moran. They did their best to travel to each brewery in person "to know what the experience was like going there."

East Coast Crafted includes background information on the industry in each province as well as an outline on the local breweries: 2 Crows Brewing Co., Pump House Brewery and Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. are just a few you'll find in its pages.

"People can read between the lines when they look at the profiles," says Moran. "Some of them are longer because the brewery's been around for a long time—they have a long and complex history—and it also means that we probably sat down and had a really in-depth interview with them."

The book wouldn't be complete without beer recommendations, so brewer's picks and author's picks are also scattered throughout. Moran hopes it might "entice people to go on these beer journeys" and serve as a guidebook along the way.

"Talk to the brewers and get their own stories, because I mean, this is just the tip of the iceberg," she says. "These people have some incredible stories and it's worth it to go in and just talk to them."

At the same time, Reynolds notes that you don't even have to like beer to read East Coast Crafted—let alone intend on taking a beer-focused trip. "There's a lot of content in there about the people, the families and the small businesses and the region," he says.

East Coast Crafted is officially launching at Stillwell on December 9.

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