The story of Puck Off begins with our brewers, Nick & Daniel. They are an amazing team, working together day after day to make sure our beer is brewed to the highest quality standards. They are both from the Shelburne area originally, and they both started out knowing nothing about beer and brewing. They are now at the heart of our operation, responsible for brewing and cellaring pretty much every batch of beer we make. They have even learned to love zesting the lemons and oranges for Hunky Dory almost as much as I do.
In the fall of 2018, Nick and Daniel asked if they could “make beer their friends would drink.” Puzzled, I said, “What do you mean?”. Their sheepish response was that our beer was too flavourful, and they wanted to make beer that was a little more mainstream – so their friends would drink it. I could see their point immediately. Our strategy for the Shelburne market had always been to be there ready and waiting as people slowly crossed over from mainstream beer into craft beer – but it had been slow going over the first five years of our operation. Many people just found our beer inaccessible.
At the same time, we were considering the possibility of opening a taproom in Shelburne, and so having an accessible beer to offer the people of Shelburne seemed like the next right move. We designed a beer we christened “Buddy” and the pilot batch brewed at the Test Kitchen in Halifax got great reviews from the Shelburne crowd we were targeting. The next step was to figure out how to get it into the NSLC, and to name it properly.
Enter my kids, who since early childhood had both been incredibly committed hockey players. And so, of course, I had blossomed into a committed hockey Mom. I had decided that our target market for this beer could be hockey people – beer and hockey are pretty good friends, and I knew a lot of hockey parents that would agree with Nick & Daniel’s friends when it came to craft beer.
So, I asked my kids to name the beer.
Without hesitation, my older son said “Mom, you have to name it Puck Off.” My younger son
instantly agreed. I laughed and wondered whether the NSLC would let me do that. But it turns out the answer was yes. And now Puck Off sits proudly on the shelf next to Hunky Dory.
Before you jump to any conclusions about my children’s foul mouths, Puck Off is a family joke. Their Dad is British, and when my sons first started playing hockey he didn’t know all the lingo, and he often mistakenly called a face off a puck off. You can see his point. And why it makes us giggle.
So, if you got up at the break of dawn and spent all day drinking rink coffee and cheering on your team under your hockey blanket, you and your dedicated ways deserve a super refreshing, perfectly normal beer to share with all your friends. Puck Off Lagered Ale is brewed with hockey and all its characters in mind. Cheers to a great puck off, and cheers to you – amazing hockey parents, inspiring coaches, valiant referees, and of course the ever-loyal and intrepid fans!