A New Point of Brew for Two Nova Scotia Microbreweries

News Release

Government of Canada announces support for the Craft Beer Industry

Sydney, N.S. – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Excitement is brewing in Cape Breton! Throughout the past number of years, the craft beer scene has been expanding rapidly, and it comes as no surprise that Cape Breton is a part of that growth. The craft beer industry contributes much more than just local flavour here in Nova Scotia, with provincial sales growing 25.1% this past year, thanks in part to the 23 local microbreweries.

Today, the Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, announced that the Government of Canada, through ACOA’s Business Development Program, will be investing a total of $436,000 in two local microbreweries, in support of construction, development and expansion projects.

Big Spruce Brewing is receiving a repayable investment of $350,000 to support the construction of an additional 5,000 square feet of building space at their facilities located in Nyanza, Cape Breton. This project will also assist with the purchase of new incremental processing equipment and the installation of an innovative product containment system.

Breton Brewing Co. is receiving a repayable investment of $86,000 to support the installation of two new fermenting tanks and a canning line for packaging at their microbrewery in Sydney. This equipment will assist Breton Brewing in keeping up with consumer demand and allow finished products to be sold more easily to second-party vendors.  Breton Brewing previously received funding from the Government of Canada, through ACOA, for the establishment of its microbrewery.

With NS Craft Beer Week just around the corner, Big Spruce Brewing and Breton Brewing are teaming up to host this year’s Cape Breton Kitchen Party that gives consumers the opportunity to taste products from over ten local Nova Scotia craft breweries. This event will take place at Centre 200 on May 6th, with all proceeds going to support the local Loaves & Fishes in Sydney.


“The Atlantic Canadian craft brewery sector has experienced rapid growth in recent years. By increasing the competitiveness of our businesses we are helping to fuel local growth while reinforcing Nova Scotia’s international reputation for distinctive, inspired and quality products.” 

     - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“With an ever-growing customer base, microbreweries such as Big Spruce and Breton Brewing not only impact and support the local economy through the sale of their locally-crafted ales, but also contribute to the success of the agriculture and hospitality sectors through the use of locally-sourced ingredients. For me, this is a symbol of what rural economic development is all about.”

     - The Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney–Victoria 

“This funding has allowed us the opportunity to expand and become something that we could have only dreamed of in the beginning. With the help of ACOA, we will be able to continue to create the organic ales with ingredients sourced from local producers that keep our customers coming back for more. We work very hard at Big Spruce, and it feels so satisfying to know that our determination is being recognized.”

     - Jeremy White, Founder and Ale-smith of Big Spruce Brewing

“The assistance we received from ACOA gave us the kick-start that we needed to get going here in Cape Breton. At the end of the day it’s the community that we have to thank for our continued success and growth. The people who come in and buy our products, participate in our events and ultimately support us are the ones who enable us to keep doing what we love.”

     - Bryan MacDonald, Co-Founder of Breton Brewing Co.

Associated Links:


Alex Smith
Director of Communications & Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: 902-426-9417 902-830-3839 (cell)
E-mail: alex.smith@canada.ca

Bryan MacDonald
Breton Brewing Co.
Phone: 902-317-3173 (cell)
Email: bryan@bretonbrewing.ca

Jeremy White
Founder and Ale-smith
Big Spruce Brewing
Phone: 902-295-2537
Email: bigsprucebrewing@gmail.com


Big Spruce Brewing is a certified organic on-farm brewery that opened for business in April 2013 and is dedicated to providing high quality, full-flavored, traditional style ales to its customers. At Big Spruce, they brew only unfiltered, unpasteurized, certified organic beer. Beer is available in testers for onsite consumption or for sale by the 32 oz. yapper or 64 oz. growler. They also sell beer at the Cape Breton Farmers' Market and at pubs and restaurants around Nova Scotia. They started small brewing just two flagship beers named Cereal Killer Oatmeal Stout and Kitchen Party Pale Ale. They have since added Ready Yer Knot, a Regatta Red Irish Red Ale, and Bitter Get’er India Black IPA (India Pale Ale). All four products are in demand year round. They are constantly producing single or limited batches of one-off or seasonal beers to keep customers intrigued. Some of their more popular seasonal offerings include Spruce Bringstein Amber, The Silver Tart Sour Raspberry Wheat, Tim’s Dirty American IPA, Snowmaggedon Winter Warmer, and Crazy Ivan Double IPA.

Established in 2014, Breton Brewing Co. set-up shop in Sydney, Nova Scotia, where they produce high quality, hand-crafted ales. The company is owned and operated by Andrew Morrow and Bryan MacDonald, who have over five years’ experience in brewing and have both won several Canadian Homebrewing awards. Breton Brewing began with a hefeweizen and a brown ale: Stirling is a light and refreshing wheat beer with an authentic German style, while Sons of Hector in an award winning (2012) brew that is medium hopped brown ale with a hint of chocolate in the after taste. In addition to these flagship beers, Breton Brewing has also begun producing Black Angus and Redcoat. Black Angus is an IPA (India Pale Ale) with a citrusy mix of chinook, centennial, cascade and citra hops while Redcoat is brewed the Irish way, hopped for balance and drinkability.

Both of these microbreweries embrace any opportunity to show off their unique, hyper-local flare that is exceptionally appealing to Nova Scotia communities. They are recognized for upholding a home-town feel in each of their craft beers and are continuously producing ales that people are eager to try.

Through the Business Development Program, ACOA invests in productivity and growth to enhance Atlantic Canadians’ access to the information, business skills and financing they require to start and/or grow a business. This enables businesses to get established, become more productive and grow, which generates wealth and jobs in the economy.

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