- dylan chew
Tidehouse Brewing 2-5187 Salter Street 902-407-2550
WHO THEY ARE Shean Higgins’ and Peter Lionais’ charming rapport and past homebrew experience become more obvious the longer you talk with them about Tidehouse Brewing, their small-batch brewery, which opened last Saturday. “We started working at Noble Grape, and we worked there for three years and started getting the idea of making a brewery,” says Lionais. “There have been ups and downs, but this year we’ve finally figured out how to do it.” The two consider themselves the fresh-faced underdogs of the ever-expanding craft beer industry, and what they don’t have in size they plan to make up for with character-rich brew. “It’s all we have,” says Higgins. “If we don’t have quality product, we don’t have anything. Plus, everybody likes a little guy.”
WHAT THEY DO “We’re not gonna be banging out any of these crazy aged Lambic beers or anything,” says Higgins of Tidehouse’s offerings, like Golden Glacier and Like a Motorcyc-ale. “While we love those beers, we want to make craft beer that’s approachable to people but still has a little bit of a… je ne sais quoi.” “Oh, we’re all out of je ne sais quoi, we’ll need to get more,” adds Lionais. Higgins: “I thought I had a whole keg left!” The two are tired but optimistic as the tide rises on their new business, with Lionais often brewing for 12 hours a day. “It’s just the two of us right now,” says Lionais, speaking to the separate duties of the duo and his role as brew master. “Shean helps out with that, but he’s mostly the business guy, and he’s the one who pulled this all together. I’m just good at making soup.”
WHERE THEY DO IT The two banter over the hum of radiators and tight-knit brewing equipment at the small Salter Street location. Despite being somewhat concealed below 2 Doors Down, Higgins says they’ll own the hidden gem quality of the retail spot. In an effort to get in on the market before it reached saturation, the two have decided that smaller is best for now. This small-batch nature allows for flexibility, so expect lots of unique seasonals, one-offs and experiments.
WHAT’S NEXT “We know we’re not gonna make any money here,” says Higgins. “We just wanna make beer for a living and have our friends and family be able to drink that beer and hopefully some other people we don’t know as well.” Lionais and Higgins credit a supportive community for helping two more homebrewers with a dream get started. “I guess it’s just the city itself,” says Higgins. “Good people here that are ready to help each other out. And of course, when people need some help, we’ll be next in line to dole it out.”