Tap­ping into his­tory

New Mar­itime Ex­press Cider brew­pub cel­e­brat­ing Kentville’s rail­road, ap­ple grow­ing

Valley Journal Advertiser - - BUSINESS - SARA ERICSSON KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA Sara.Ericsson@kingscountynews.ca

Cider brew­ing will be com­ing to Kentville this fall with a busi­ness named in hon­our of Kentville’s renowned rail­road his­tory.

Mar­itime Ex­press Cider, coowned by Jimi Doidge, the brewer, and Scott Hearn, his busi­ness part­ner, will open its doors af­ter the first suc­cess­ful brew of cider from lo­cal An­napo­lis Val­ley ap­ples comes through.

And un­til then, the two are work­ing on their vi­sion for their busi­ness, the new­est ad­di­tion to the An­napo­lis Val­ley’s crop of craft brew­eries.

“The beauty of craft brew­ing is you never get the ex­act same batch twice. We’re look­ing for­ward to ex­per­i­ment­ing with our prod­uct, and al­ways pro­duc­ing new flavours for peo­ple to try and en­joy,” said Doidge.

How things got started

Doidge moved from Hamil­ton, ON, to the An­napo­lis Val­ley nearly two years ago and im­me­di­ately started look­ing to get in­volved in the area’s craft brew­ing and wine in­dus­tries.

With a long-boom­ing wine in­dus­try in On­tario, he knew a thing or two, but was sur­prised to see a cidery so well-de­vel­oped, com­pared to his home province’s fledg­ling one.

“I did not know this was al­ready so strong here. That, with the qual­ity of lo­cal ap­ples avail­able, made me see this as a real pos­si­bil­ity,” he said.

Af­ter meet­ing fel­low cider en­thu­si­ast Hearn through the Town of Kentville, the two banded to­gether and be­gan search­ing for the per­fect brew­ing lo­ca­tion, look­ing at such places as the town’s ill­fated Robin­son build­ing.

When they heard about space open­ing in­side Corn­wal­lis Inn, they jumped at the op­por­tu­nity.

“We knew we had to get that space as fast as we could, and we did. This space has po­ten­tial we couldn’t miss out on, and we got it,” said Hearn.

Cel­e­brat­ing Kentville’s rail­road his­tory

The busi­ness’ name was cho­sen af­ter a long brain­storm­ing be­tween the two men about how to best cap­ture the build­ing’s rail­road past, and the ap­ple’s place in the area’s his­tory.

They came across a story in their re­search that told of a com­pany from the early twen­ti­eth The cider’s logo, which cel­e­brates the town and build­ing’s rail­road and ap­ple his­to­ries.

cen­tury called Mar­itime Ex­press that shipped per­ish­able goods, like ap­ples, across the province, us­ing the Do­min­ion lines, which ran through Kentville.

The Corn­wal­lis Inn, which was owned by the Do­min­ion At­lantic Rail­way, also hails back to this pe­riod.

“We wanted to tap into the his­tory of this lo­ca­tion, the ap­ples, and

pulling from its rail­road his­tory was the per­fect way of do­ing that,” said Hearn.

The space needed next to no work other than fresh paint, a new bar, ta­bles and chairs. The duo also hopes to even­tu­ally have an out­door pa­tio set up, along with a new en­trance.

The brew­ing space is also be­ing read­ied di­rectly be­low the bar space as Doidge and Hearn await the ar­rival of their brew­ing tanks, which are made to or­der and take sev­eral months for fin­ish­ing and ship­ping.

And un­til then, they in­tend to make plenty of pub­lic ap­pear­ances at mar­kets and other events to pro­mote their brew­ing busi­ness.

“We may not be open­ing yet, but we are go­ing to be very ac­tive. Chances are, you’ll run into us some­where,” said Doidge.

What to ex­pect when the doors open

Doidge is look­ing for­ward to bring­ing a new, in­di­vid­ual and cre­ative ap­proach to his cider brew­ing.

A long­time fan him­self, he’s aware that some bad brews have given the prod­uct the brand­ing of a bad ap­ple.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing, be­cause though cider has been around for a long time, there’s al­ways been a lot of bad batches out there,” he said.

“The big brew­eries do a good job of get­ting this type of prod­uct no­ticed, but aren’t all a clear re­flec­tion of what this can taste like.”

With wine­mak­ing ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt, Doidge in­tends to ap­proach his cider brew­ing with sim­i­lar tac­tics, since the two prac­tices aren’t en­tirely dif­fer­ent.

By us­ing good, lo­cal ap­ples, and keep­ing his flavours a healthy mix of sweet, acidic and sharp, he means to cap­ture an ap­ple’s crisp taste in a cup.

With the first of­fi­cial brew un­able to start un­til ap­ples are avail­able, the open­ing date is up in the air.

The busi­ness will also of­fer growlers, bot­tles and other mer­chan­dise, along with a space where peo­ple can en­joy tast­ing dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties, or a full pint of a spe­cific one.

The bar will also carry craft beers for cus­tomers who don’t like cider but still want to ven­ture out and try some­thing new.

“We’re se­cretly hop­ing these peo­ple try the cider as well, and maybe see why we love it so much,” laughed Doidge. To fol­low Mar­itime Ex­press Cider, see their Face­book page: www.face­book.com/ Mar­itimeEx­pressCider/

SARA ERICSSON

Mar­itime Ex­press Cider co-founders Scott Hearn and Jimi Doidge stand in­side their new brew­pub space, lo­cated in­side the Corn­wal­lis Inn in Kentville.

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