Guysborough

I’m not sure exactly when my grandfather took his schooner and left Guysborough for the bright lights of Halifax (it was definitely before 1900), but if he had stayed, he would have welcomed Glynn Williams–who seems determined to restore the original glory of this town and region.

Glynn Williams, proprietor of Authentic Seacoast Co., has announced plans to open an artisan distillery in the seaside community of Guysborough. (File)

Glynn Williams, proprietor of Authentic Seacoast Co., has announced plans to open an artisan distillery in the seaside community of Guysborough. More than 350 years after Nicholas Denys built Canada’s first commercial brewery in Guysborough, a local entrepreneur wants to tap into another emerging trend.

Glynn Williams, proprietor of Authentic Seacoast Co., has announced plans to open an artisan distillery in the seaside community.

“(They are) rapidly growing in the United States, and you can just see the beginning of the wave of artisan-scale distillers, and the reason for this is that consumers, who are ever-discerning, are looking for goods and products where they can connect what they’re consuming to the people and the place from which they originate,” Williams said in a telephone interview Thursday.

The Authentic Seacoast Distilling Co. Ltd. is being added to Williams’s stable of businesses, which include Full Steam Coffee Co., the Harbour Belle Bakery, and the newly renovated and rebranded Skipping Stone Cafe & Store.

“I’m hopeful that consumers of our (spirits) will embrace them as they are embracing our coffee, our baked goods, as well as our beer,” Williams said.

He also spearheaded the redevelopments of the DesBarres Manor Inn, Osprey Shores Golf Resort and the Rare Bird Pub & Eatery.

“To my knowledge, we’re the only distiller that one, owns a coffee company, two, owns a craft brewing business, and has the culinary expertise to create some quite amazing and unique products.”

The distillery will be built at 76-78 Main St., between the Rare Bird building and Skipping Stone, and will double the number of Authentic Seacoast employees to 70.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Williams had purchased an additional 1.2-hectare parcel from the municipality that is just down the road.

“That will accommodate future growth in the distillery, as well as anticipated growth in our coffee roasting business and our other businesses.”

The design of the $2.7-million project is being finalized, with construction expected to begin in the first quarter of 2013.

The provincial government said Thursday that it was extending a $1-million forgivable loan and a capital incentive of $191,000 to Williams that would be used to fund the building construction.

Williams said opening an artisan distillery is the logical next step for his company.

“We have been making beer here for several years. Our brewery operations are dramatically taking off.”

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