By Kate Watson
Danny O’Hearn chuckles a little when I ask him whether the beer made at metro’s newest brewery has a secret ingredient.
He picks up a boxed four-pack of Nine Locks Extra Special Bitter (ESB) and flips it over.
“Yup,” he says, gesturing at the ingredients list. “It says right here. The special ingredient is ‘love’.”
And indeed, love is listed in tiny letters.
While Danny may like to joke, listening to him talk about Nine Locks Brewing Company leaves no doubt that he and his partner Shaun O’Hearn love craft beer and love Dartmouth.
The two men are distant cousins who also happen to be close friends and neighbours. Shaun is the owner of Your Father’s Moustache Pub & Eatery and Rockbottom Brewpub. Danny has been a senior sales supervisor in the Maritimes with Moosehead Breweries for more than 30 years.
The pair decided in 2014 to open a brewery together, but it wasn’t until they found the right location (219 Waverley Road, in front of the MicMac Tavern) that they came up with the perfect name.
“We wanted to highlight the history of this area,” explains Danny. “We’re a stone’s throw from the Shubenacadie Canal, so ‘Nine Locks’ just made sense.”
In the coming months, the storefront of Nine Locks will display original art work depicting scenes of the area. The prints, donated to the Shubenacadie Canal Commission by well-known artist Tom Forrestall, will be sold as a fundraiser for the canal.
“We’re two local guys who love Dartmouth,” Danny says. “We want Nine Locks to be part of this community and to give back to this community.”
People are welcome to stop by the store and sample the beer, which currently includes a limited edition Dirty Blonde, IPA, the ESB, and a limited-edition Porter.