Nova Scotia

'Hip fans are everywhere': Gord Downie tribute beer a hit

People looking to get their hands on the Courage beer, made by some Nova Scotian breweries as a tribute to Gord Downie, are going to need some luck as supplies are dwindling.

2 Nova Scotia breweries teamed up to brew some suds to raise money for causes important to Downie

The label features references to Gord Downie's lyrics. (Garrison Brewing)

People looking to get their hands on the Courage (for Gord Downie) beer made by some Nova Scotian breweries are going to need some luck as supplies are dwindling.

The creators originally envisioned the special beer as a 2,000-bottle run to help raise money for causes that were close to the heart of the late Tragically Hip singer, but after a huge response, they decided to up that to around 6,400 bottles.

It appears even the uptick in production won't meet the demand for the product.

Downie died last month from an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, which he discovered after a seizure in December 2015.

The beer was created as a partnership between Garrison Brewing, Boxing Rock Brewing and Erin McGuire, who created the artwork featured on the label.

A dollar from each bottle will go to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and Indigenous peoples reconciliation.

Raising $11K

Brian Titus, the president of Garrison Brewing in Halifax, said that between the bottles sold and money raised at the product's launches at the two breweries, a total of about $11,000 will be raised.

The name of the beer is inspired by the beloved Hip song Courage (for Hugh MacLennan).

The beer is a Canadian amber wheat with above-average hop levels for the style and comes in a 650-millilitre bottle. The label features references to Hip song lyrics.

"It's not just a simple knockoff Canadian lager kind of thing. We wanted to make something a bit more complex ... We figure he's a relatively complex guy and so we didn't want to make anything too simple and too light," said Titus.

The beer launched just over a week ago and was available for sale at the two breweries involved in producing it, as well as some private liquor stores, but sold out quickly. 

Available in some NSLC stores

The beer is now just starting to make its way to a select number of NSLC locations.

It is also making its way out of province. It will soon be available in New Brunswick, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The beer arrived on P.E.I. last week.

"We did the best we could to spread it across the country," said Titus.

Garrison Brewing's Brian Titus said the beer will raise about $11,000 for charity. (CBC)

He said the brewery has fielded calls from places as far flung as Florida, Tennessee and New York wondering how they can get their hands on the beer.

"Hip fans are everywhere, whether they're expats or people who have just picked up on the music and realized the genius [of the music]," said Titus.

The project has been a huge success, but not for the companies' bottom lines.

"It's a significant chunk of the revenue going to the causes, but both breweries could not be prouder than to have been part of this project," said Titus.