Boxing Rock Brewing: How Holly Cole Inspired A Hit Beer
By Nick Amador on January 17, 2020
The countdown has begun.
With the onset of a new year, a new decade, and a historically slow season for the craft space, it can be easy to long for the warm summer months (or warm-er, if you’re one of the lucky few near the equator). Before you cozy up and close off from the cold though, it’s best that you have a few bevies stocked in the fridge to keep you company. This weeks On Tap Series feature will hopefully offer one for the lists.
Boxing Rock Brewing in Shelburne, Nova Scotia has been perfecting their brew since 2012, and while they’re constantly coming out with new and exciting pours, it’s one of their staples that deserves the spotlight this week.
Temptation Red, Boxing Rock’s American Red Ale, is a true masterpiece. When most beer fans think red, their mind immediately floats to an Irish. Temptation is anything but. It’s light on the palate, has a nicely balanced mid-malt profile, and a bright, refreshing hoppiness that isn’t overpowering. In truth, the beer feels more like an American Pale Ale than an Irish Red, but it benefits from not being quite as hoppy as an APA. If we’re talking pairings, the Temptation holds its own with most any southern barbeques, pairing well with briskets, ribs, and the rest. Aside from that, it’s been known to go hand-in-hand with a classic burger or East Indian curries.
A fun fact about Temptation Red is that it’s the only beer in Atlantic Canada hopped throughout the production process – with only one hop varietal in it. The process involves both continuous hopping during the brew and dry hopping after fermentation.
With a beer of such quality, it can be difficult to decide on a name worthy of the honour. For Boxing Rock though, the story practically wrote itself. Here is head brewer, Henry Pedro (photographed below), on how Temptation got its handle
Temptation Red resulted from a conversation I had on a flight from Halifax to Toronto with Canadian jazz great Holly Cole. During the conversation, the topic of my brewing career came up and she playfully asked if I’d brew a beer for her. A RED beer. Taking up the challenge, I created a Red Ale and named it after “Temptation”, my favourite Holly Cole record. FYI - She loved the beer.
If we’re to spend a moment on brewery-impact each feature, Boxing Rock gives us plenty of material to work with. The team decided to set up a completely glass-bottled production line in 2012, allowing them to focus on brewery sustainability and the quality of their beer, something you can read more about on their website. The brewing team is incredibly fussy about the brewing process, focusing much of their attention to batch quality and overall consistency. Although they’re a craft brewery selling hand-made beers, they want customers to expect consistent, high-quality taste, regardless of the day, year, or decade.
If you’re tempted (brutal, I know) to pick up some Boxing Rock Temptation Red, you can see where it’s pouring today on their Kegshoe On Tap Map.
If you know of a brewery deserving a feature – let us know.
Wishing everyone a great start to the year!
The Kegshoe Team.