Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?
Craft Beer is about traditional products resulting from sustainable practices and natural ingredients. Maintaining a healthy environment is not only a real-time benefit to our business, it's essential and the right thing to do. By partnering with the Ecology Action Centre, Garrison hopes to assist in raising awareness around environmental challenges and championing real-world solutions. We believe our combined efforts will foster a culture of environmental stewardship that resonates with suppliers, staff & customers alike.
What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?
As a business, we benefit greatly from people supporting local. In return, we factor the community & environment around us into everything we do. We believe positive change comes from doing many small things right and for Garrison, the list is extensive. We buy nearly 80% of our malted barley from New Brunswick in bulk form and shipped by rail. We work with a number of small, local hop farmers and run our own test plot with Ross Farm Museum. Other local raw materials are often profiled in our specialty brews including spruce tips, raw honey, maple syrup, lavender and even bog myrtle. After brewing, all spent grain becomes cattle and pig feed given to farmers at no cost. Our brewing tanks are all fabricated by a PEI manufacturer and fired by natural gas and steam. Both Seaport breweries were located in derelict properties which we refurbished. Biodegradable cleaners, stainless kegs and refillable bottles and growlers help further lessen our production footprint. Even the cups we use at festivals and events are biodegradable, made from corn starch!
Our community ties go deep as well. We've done several charity brews over the years and supported many causes. We've poured local beer at the Halifax Jazzfest since 1999, and been supporting partners of many others including the Atlantic Film Festival, Multicultural Festival, OutEast Film fest, Obey Convention and Hal-Con. Add in running, biking and swimming clubs, amateur sports, small business, health, education and the environment and it's clear we're part of a VERY large community.
Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?
I try and approach business (& life) from an optimistic angle. I can make beer, period. I can also make beer using local materials and supplies, sort out my waste streams, improve efficiencies, build relationships with local restaurants/groups and create a unique and welcoming destination that creates pride among locals and draws visitors from far and wide. These things are as important to me as the great craft beer that made them all possible.