The bar tops have yet to come in. For the moment, a palatial chocolate brown couch rests in the back of the taproom. The walls are colourful, with the newest coats of paint adding bright splashes of blue and orange.
Based out of Somerset, Nova Scotia, Bad Apple Brewhouse had been looking to expand to Wolfville for quite some time. Kari Saunders, co-owner of Bad Apple Brewhouse along with her husband Jeff Saunders, noted that a retail location was always needed.
“People found it difficult to get out to Somerset to find our beer,” she said. “We wanted to set up in a town that’s thriving. Wolfville was the perfect place.”
The goal was to have a place to sit down, but regulations in Somerset made it difficult. Having acquired the lease to the former Valley Vixen location in June the plan was to move in around July. These plans were derailed as the building wasn’t up to code, lacking a wheelchair accessible ramp, emergency lighting, and a washroom. Despite the setbacks, The Core is up and running within the Wolfville community.
“The culture [of Wolfville] is unique,” Saunders noted. “Most of our clientele is from around here, but so far it’s in the older demographic. A lot of professionals in the 50+ range, but we’re hoping that the longer we’re here the more students will come our way.”
Part of the strategy to increase the student clientele are ‘Bottle Rockets’- single use PET plastic bottles that keep the cost of craft beer down. They were created with students in mind as each bottle will only cost $12-15 for most of the craft beers they have on tap, including the 8% Mosaic Double IPA.
“Hopefully when they get into the bottle rockets they’ll learn to love us,” she laughed.
The Mosaic Double IPA captures the essence of The Core’s desire to give back. Cody Myre noted that “[Jeff Saunders] doesn’t care about making money. He cares about making really good quality beer.”
While money might be at the bottom of the priority list, giving back certainly is not. Kari Saunders discussed how much of the money made from Bad Apple’s beverages goes to charities including the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.
Kari and Jeff’s son, Hunter, has Mosaic Down syndrome. When they received the diagnosis the couple had a freezer full of mosaic hops and decided to make the best of it, brewing a batch of beer that would ultimately go onto win multiple medals at the 2014 Atlantic Canada Beer Awards, including Brewery of the Year. All of the profits went to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.
Cider is a new venture that The Core hopes to perfect with time. Currently they are pressing a ‘Funky Pear Cider’ that should be ready within the month. Until then, the taproom needs to be finished.
“Jeff is trying to go real old school with a tape recorder,” she laughed. “I think he had something like 1400 tapes. If not, he has a pinball machine that he wants to throw in here.”
The Core was opened just in time for the Deep Roots Festival, but plan on doing a formal grand opening in the coming weeks. Flights are now on tap, with a local customer designing a series of flight boards.
“We’re here to make good beer and give back however we can,” Saunders says. “It’s the least we can do.”
Colin Mitchell is a fourth year (Honours) Politics student and Editor in Chief of The Athenaeum