Nova Scotia’s lobster-Infused ales

Try them before the South Shore Lobster Crawl ends

South Shorer Lobster Beer from Hell Bay Brewing. Photo from Hell Bay Instagram.
South Shorer Lobster Beer from Hell Bay Brewing. Photo from Hell Bay Instagram.

On the south shore of Nova Scotia, two breweries have brewed lobster-infused beer to celebrate the region’s newest winter festival, the South Shore Lobster Crawl, which runs from February 2 – 19.

In Mahone Bay, Saltbox Brewing has created Crustacean Elation, a beer that uses lobsters and lobster shells twice during the brewing process: once when whole lobster is added directly to the mash, and later when the roasted shells are added back into the boil.

Just down the road in Liverpool, Hell Bay Brewing is launched its South Shorer Lobster Beer, an ale with characteristics of biscuit malts and citrusy hops.

It’s not the first time Maritimers have infused seafood into their brew. In the Quebec’s Magdalen Islands, the brewer  A  L’Abri de La Tempete uses herring-smoked malt to create their rich and delicious barley wine, Corps Mort, which they joke, “may contain pieces of herring.” Nor is it the first time lobster and beer have come together. In the United States, Oxbow Brewing Company in Portland, Maine, created the pale ale, Saison dell’Aragosta for the summer of 2015. In 2012, Dogfish Head craft brewery in Delaware created a rich, chocolate-lobster beer.

Oyster stout is perhaps the oldest example of a beer made with seafood. Historically, oyster stouts were meant to be paired with oysters—a popular bar snack in Victorian Britain—not to contain them. It is thought that the pairing eventually led to the combining of the two, with the oyster shells thrown into the beer kettle as a fining agent.

In an interview with CTV news, operations manager and co-founder of Saltbox Brewing, Patrick Jardine says that although some people might be nervous about mixing lobster into the brewing process, “there’s no claws for concern.”