A few weeks ago, Boxing Rock Brewing co-owner Emily Tipton and I teamed up at the Boxing Rock Test Kitchen to make a new beer. You’ll find it on tap at Local Source Market for growler fills on June 28. We only made a few kegs to try out the recipe, so it won’t be around long.

Difficult Women is a strong Belgian blonde ale with real peach purée. It’s lightly hopped with Magnum and East Kent Golding to stay true to style.  Sweet malts lend it a golden colour and the yeast offers hints of fruit and spice. Like any good fruit beer, the peach is a bonus, not the main attraction. Given that its 6.8% ABV, go easy if you have a big day planned.

If you’re a home brewer, you know making beer is like baking and playing with a chemistry set at the same time. Sometimes things don’t go as planned.

With this beer, we feared that the yeast wasn’t strong enough to handle all of the sugar because it fermented (the process by which the yeast eats the sugar and turns it into alcohol) slowly. We let it take all the time it needed, and in the end it became the ale we wanted. We started calling the beer “difficult,” and as we’re both known for our strong opinions on the industry, we christened it Difficult Women.

Plus I look forward to finding out what you think about the beer. Leave us a review on Untappd.

In other Boxing Rock news, those who’ve gotten lost trying to find the nearly impossible-to-map brewery will have a much easier time visiting by summer’s end. 

Boxing Rock purchased the Loyalist Plaza at 218 Water St. in Shelburne, N.S. In true Nova Scotian fashion, you could describe the new spot as the former furniture store or the old IGA.

A strip mall may seem an unlikely spot for a brewery, but stick with me here.

Given the scarcity of affordable commercial locations in Nova Scotia, the cost and risk of opening a brewery, and the high number of near abandoned 1970s and 1980s strip malls scattered across the landscape, I think it works. Our U.S. neighbours are seeing similar opportunities to bring craft beer out of industrial parks and into more accessible spaces.

Boxing Rock isn’t the first Nova Scotian brewery to embrace the strip mall. North Brewing Co. opened its new tap room and restaurant at 889 Portland St., Dartmouth, earlier this month.

The 4,500-square-foot Boxing Rock space will host a barrel-aging facility, a swanky new taproom, and storage for the brewery. The space is still in progress, but expect 50–60 seats inside, and 30–40 outside on the deck. The still-in-progress plans include a stage to host live music, the only foosball table in town, and light snacks (think nachos and sausages). Follow Boxing Rock on Instagram for sneak peaks over the next few weeks.

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