Over the past few months Garrison Brewing and Boxing Rock Brewing have worked with graphic artist Erin McGuire, a Yarmouth native, to develop a limited release craft beer based on his Tragically Hip-inspired artwork ‘By the Numbers.’
The beer will be released in late-November as a true collaboration and fundraiser for the Brain Tumour Foundation.
This past summer McGuire, a faculty member with the NSCC Photography program and Graphic Designer, approached Emily Tipton, founding partner at Boxing Rock in Shelburne, with the idea of using his original design for a craft beer label.
“When Erin first approached me, we set a release timeline for late fall” said Tipton. “Over the past month we’ve been working to fine tune the label and now, with the loss of Gord, things have grown from a fundraising release into a tribute to an iconic Canadian singer we all knew and loved.”
Downie, 53, the lead signer of The Tragically Hip, died Oct. 17, surrounding by his family. He had been diagnosed with an incurable and aggressive form of brain cancer called gliblastoma.
"Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss… on the lips," read a family statement that released on the Hip’s website.
His death sent much of the country into mourning.
After McGuire had reached out to Tipton this past summer, she then reached out to Brian Titus, President and GM of Garrison, to gauge his interest in making this a collaboration.
“No question. We’re massive Hip fans and we’re in!” said Titus. “We traded a few emails with the good folks at Boxing Rock and we soon had a style, recipe and brew-day on the calendar.”
McGuire’s artwork ‘By The Numbers’ brings all the numerical references from Tragically Hip songs together into one phenomenal piece.
“Last fall when the announcement was made that Gord Downie had been diagnosed with brain cancer I was floored. I’m a lifelong Hip fan and this news left me wanting to do something….anything…to try and help” said McGuire. “The poster I made sold out through In Gord We Trust and I wanted to keep doing good with the concept”
McGuire, a musician himself, posted this on his Facebook page upon hearing of Downie’s death.
“I knew this day would come. I dreaded it. This was the voice of my generation. The voice of my nation. There is no band in the world that has grown with me like The Tragically Hip. It was like they knew what was happening in my life and made records for me to play as theme music,” he said, crediting and thanking Downie for his songwriting, calling him a true artist.
“He wrote about hockey, Canadian towns, injustice...but he also wrote about love and acceptance in ways that small town boys like me had never heard. He was a true artist," said McGuire.
Titled ‘Courage (for Gord Downie),’ the beer will be a refreshing and premium amber Wheat Ale – bold, beautiful and special - just like Gord. Just over 2000 bottles will be produced with a portion of all sales going to the Brain Tumour Foundation.
About Garrison Brewing Company:
Since 1997, Garrison has strived to create exceptional craft beer - real beer made with passion, hard work and East Coast pride. Garrison beers are premium, distinctive and always full of flavour with an exceptional range crafted in the historic and vibrant Halifax Seaport.
About Boxing Rock Brewing Company
Boxing Rock was founded in 2012 by two engineers with a passion for craft beer, Henry Pedro & Emily Tipton. The company loves beer for the challenge of designing a good one, as much as for the pleasure of drinking it. To Boxing Rock brewing is a test of wits, innovation and technology and the practice of an age-old craft steeped in tradition and folklore. inventions/creations.