After several months of tireless work, Roof Hound Brewing Company is opening today. Owner and Brewer Les Barr rose to national attention with his appearance on Season 3 of MasterChef Canada this spring. When we interviewed him back in February, he was about to begin construction on Roof Hound Brewery at 2580 Ridge Rd, 10 minutes from downtown Digby. Today, the brewpub is opening at 11am for beers and lunch onsite.
Barr has been homebrewing for a decade, jumping into all-grain brewing after just a couple of attempts at partial mash batches. Since then, he has been refining his recipes with the assistance of friends and family, aiming to brew unique recipes that appeal to a wide audience of drinkers.
Demonstrating the DIY aspect of many small local breweries, the Roof Hound brewhouse is a unique one: the mash tun (where grain is mixed with warm water to extract sugars, flavour, and colour compounds) is a converted scallop bin, with a custom-built sparge arm for consistent conversion. Barr’s 500l (4BBL) system performs two brews in order to fill their fermenters, where the beer sits for a couple of weeks before conditioning and carbonation.
Starting today, 4.5% ABV Little Pup Pale Ale will be available on tap at the brewery. It is an English-style Pale Ale, with notes of pear in the nose and flavour. Shortly joining that beer will be Roof Top Rye-It, an amber-coloured rye beer, dry hopped with a hint of spice from the rye malt, and Wasted Days Peanut Butter Porter. The next brewday will be of the Big Brown Roof Hound Ale, a 7.0% ABV Brown Ale made with raisins, brown sugar, and vanilla. This beer is based on the story of Lady, Roof Hound’s mascot. Lady was Barr’s grandfather’s dog, who once got into Barr senior’s raisin/brown sugar/yeast creation (cooked up for those cool winter nights), and, drunk on raisins full of booze, climbed onto the roof of the house via a nearby woodpile.
In addition to beer, Roof Hound will also be serving up some non-alcoholic sodas created on-site. Available today are Strawberry Vanilla Soda, made with real berries and vanilla beans, Blueberry Lemonade, made with real fruit, and Ginger Ale, brewed with ginger, brown sugar, and a hint of lemon.
Unsurprisingly, food will not be taking a backseat at Roof Hound. While Barr’s obvious skills in the kitchen have gained him fans across the country and world, thanks to his TV appearances and busy Instagram feed, he will be sharing the kitchen with Valerie Barr, his cousin and formally-trained chef. Pizzas and Naan open-faced sandwiches are in high demand, thanks to the great tasting toppings and dough, created in-house and include a touch of the Little Pup. Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for the day’s creations.
Initially, Roof Hound will concentrate on on-site sales of pints and food, with growler fills and keg sales coming soon, as supply meets demand. They will expand distribution to the Farmers Markets and off-site licensees in the near future. The brewery and 45-seat tap room are open at 11am seven days a week, and will feature local music and events at the brewery. Keep up with all of the latest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Congratulations Les and the Roof Hound crew! Awooooo!