Rare Bird Craft Beer: Behind the name

Posted Apr 24, 2015

Glynn Williams believes “we’re all storytellers,” and he’s turned that notion into a thriving craft brewery on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.

When he opened The Rare Bird Pub on the Guysborough waterfront more than a decade ago, he chose the name as a way to pay respect to the area’s colourful locals.

“‘Rare Bird’ is the idea of celebrating the quirkiness and the characters of some of the folks here in Guysborough County,” explains Glynn. “Everybody has a story to tell, and as you get to know folks — really sit with them, and have a conversation — you see that they have a lot of interesting things to say about their family, why they came here, and what they’re doing.”

He says the cheerful pub also celebrates the kind of values that are important to the community of Guysborough, like authenticity and hard work. They began brewing their own craft beer, slowly learning as they went.

What started as a way to serve in-house brews to their customers evolved into a commercial brewery that’s also sold in Bishop’s Cellar, Harvest Wine and Spirits, Cristall Wine Merchants, and various NSLC locations across the province.

Today, they have five unique Rare Bird Beer varieties: Spruce Ale, Maple Ale, Pale Ale, Pumpkin Ale, and Full Steam Stout. Each beer is handcrafted in small batches in their facility in the heart of Guysborough.

Although the craft beer industry is populated with trendy varieties that attract fleeting interest from beer aficionados, Glynn says Rare Bird Craft Beer is very different.

“It’s relatively easy to add a whole bunch of hops to beer and call it a craft beer,” says Glynn. “But the question is how to design a beer that’s well-crafted, drinkable, and will appeal to a lot of people.”

“That’s the essence of what we’re trying to do.”

Glynn says sometimes a craft brewer will add a ton of different ingredients to create a beer that’s “so off-the-wall” that only a very small group of people would ever choose to drink it. He admits it’s fun to experiment with obscure ingredients, but says that kind of model just doesn’t fit with the Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company.

“We embrace the experimentation and creativity, but at the end of the day, our focus is on making handcrafted beers that are well-designed and approachable.

With a tagline of “Craft beers of rare character,” Glynn says Rare Bird Craft Beer is ready to unveil the newest member of lineup: Rare Bird Red Ale.

“It’s been in development for several months, and it’s already on shelves at some NSLC locations,” says Glynn. “It’s a lightly hopped beer with slightly less alcohol — about five per cent — and the reception so far has been amazing.”