New Brunswick

Engineers are brewing great Maritime beer

It may come as a surprise, but engineers make excellent brewers.

Turns out, engineers have a knack for brewing up a delicious beverage

Engineers are behind two new breweries in the Maritimes. Good Robot Brewing in Halifax opened in May and is run by three former engineering students. (Twitter)

It may come as a surprise, but engineers are turning into some excellent brewers in the Maritimes.

"I think [engineers] make good beer because we have a mind that's trained to design and to problem-solve. We are designing a beer to taste and feel in a particular way," said Emily Tipton, a former engineer.

Tipton is one of the owners and beer engineers at the Boxing Rock Brewing Co. in Shelburne, N.S., and is a chemical engineer by trade.

Several well-known Maritime breweries are being started by engineers. 6:41

Tipton has been living in Shelburne for eight years and has always wanted to start a business in the community.

"I always thought we have to make something we can export. We can't make a living making something for a town of 1,500 people," she said.

She says opening her own brewery just made sense.

"I thought, beer, I know how to make beer. Why wouldn't we have a brewery?" she said. "It was one of those moments where an idea strikes you and then a whole bunch of other ideas strike you."

Adam Clawson, a founder of Red Rover Brewing Company, is also a former engineer. He is now producing award-winning cider in Fredericton. (Facebook)
But Tipton isn't the only engineer applying their skills to the craft alcohol industry.

Adam Clawson was a mechanical and electrical and biomedical engineer and is one of the founders of the Red Rover Brewing Company in Fredericton.

He says engineers make great brewers because every step can be a learning experience.

"It's a science problem. You want to create something that tastes great from the things that are available and if you take a scientific approach and do it in a methodological matter you get the best solution," Clawson said.

"For me is the fact that instead of helping one person over a long period of time, my products can affect a lot of people very quickly in a very positive way."

Clawson's attention to detail seems to be paying off. Red Rover's cider won a gold medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards.

'We didn't enjoy taking direction'

Good Robot Brewing in Halifax opened in May and is run by three former engineering students.

Boxing Rock beer is run by former engineers in Shelburne Nova Scotia. (Boxing Rock Brewing)
Josh Counsil is one of them. He says they were tired of working in a field they didn't love.

"We are all former engineers in stifling environments and we didn't enjoy taking direction from people and we didn't enjoy not being ourselves," he said.

The engineers at Boxing Rock agree. They enjoy the tangible aspect of beer making.

"I've crafted that product with my own hands and I can sell it to somebody else to enjoy as well," she said.

For Tipton, being a brewer as well as an engineer is all about the trial and error, and the problem solving that comes along with it.

"The most satisfying aspect of my job is I get to make something real that we can taste and enjoy and improve on the next time," she said.