Meander River Farm & Brewery — Farm to Glass Experience in Nova Scotia

Your sustainability model is inspiring and just looking at the photos on your website, I imagine that visitors to the farm immediately get why perfect preservation and responsible growth are at the forefront of your business plan. Can you please tell the readers how the model has evolved and about its successes? AB: We are really just trying to minimize our environmental footprint by using and/or recycling what we can on the farm. As a result, we are able to save money by doing so. For example: feeding our livestock the spent grain from the brewing process reduces our feed costs; recycling the wastewater from the brewery for irrigation use ensures we don’t have a well water supply issue during the dry summer months, which seem to be becoming more prevalent. CB: Yes, it started off with growing what we could to be self-sustainable – things like veggies and fruits – as one does when they move to a farm. The lavender is for both pleasure and products while the hops are for the craft brewing industry – and that came later. We even involve the animals here: the pigs till, they

by David MacDonald T he Ashdale Honey Brown is brewed using honey from hives on the farm. The Barn Swallow Farmhouse Ale is made entirely with Nova Scotia Horton Ridge Malt. The Shack Wacky Apple Cider is made from 100 percent Annapolis Valley apples. The Grist Mill Wheat Beer and the Lunch Box Pale Ale, though, speak best to the Meander River Farm & Brewery brand. The former is named for a gristmill recovered from a tributary of the Meander River which crosses through the 186- acre, 200-year- oldmixed farmfor twokilometres in Hants County, Nova Scotia owned and operated by the Bailey family: Alan and Brenda and their daughter, Campbell, and son, Fraser. The latter is named for Brenda’s father, who, as it’s so movingly put at MeanderRiverFarm. ca, “enabled us with the skills needed to fulfill our passion for renovating old buildings, and

fertilize as they go, and ultimately, they prepare the land for more crops. We return the favour to them with spent grain and excess veggies. It’s successful for us because it’s not only practical and good for our environment, but it adds another dimension to the experience you get when you visit the farm. It also ensures that our products are truly unique and sustainably sourced. “We are really just trying to minimize our environmental footprint by using and/or recycling what we can on the farm.” The website couldn’t be more user-friendly. I particularly appreciate how your contact page includes links with directions from mainland Nova Scotia’s three main travel hubs: Truro, the Annapolis Valley, and Halifax. For any readers who haven’t visited Hants County and the Municipality of the District of West Hants where you’re located, can you please tell them about where you call home?

by bringing his lunch box to work every day, instilled a work ethic in us that we value today.” For the Baileys, the past is a persistent voice in their day-to- day lives, which is why preserving the character and integrity of their farm and brewery is paramount. We follow up with Alan, co-owner and general manager, along with his daughter Campbell – who manages their communications about brewery and farm and their unique farm to glass of experience that Meander River Farm and Brewery offers.




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