Top News

Lawyer opts for a different type of bar with brewery

Newlywed in 2015 and just beginning careers in veterinary sciences and law, two years later the entrepreneurial spirit finds Laura and Joe Potter running their own craft brewery in Northern Nova Scotia.
Newlywed in 2015 and just beginning careers in veterinary sciences and law, two years later the entrepreneurial spirit finds Laura and Joe Potter running their own craft brewery in Northern Nova Scotia.

Home hobby becomes awarding winning beer

Editor's Note: Second life. It can represent a chance to do over. To reset and refocus your life. To shake off the past and give yourself an opportunity to change and grow. In our series, Second Life, we took a look at how those in the small business world, out of necessity or desire, reach beyond their comfort zones to re-create themselves and their world. These stories celebrate those who saw potential in being something else or creating something that wasn’t and were brave enough to take the plunge into the deep, dark waters of entrepreneurship.

When Joe and Laura Parker decided a family-owned brewery was in their future they were coming from a good place: he had no one to let down and she had all the support in the world.
And, frankly, Joe had no choice.
“He was pushed into it,” Laura says.
“The hobby was taking over the house,” Joe explains.
Joe was called to the bar – different bar, he’s a qualified lawyer – when he took a good look at his future and realized he would never hold his job in his hand and raise it up for his friends to toast.
The lack of tangibility struck him.
“I wanted to create and sell a product,” Joe said. “I didn’t know that until it was too late. I was unhappy peddling service when I wanted to peddle a product. I needed that satisfaction of going to work a producing a skid of beer and then going home and saying ‘How did today go? It went well. I produced a skid of beer. Hopefully tomorrow someone buys it.’”
But as reality set in, Joe realized he was in a good place. He didn’t have any clients. He could switch careers midstream without any unfinished business.
Laura, however, was full-steam ahead with a veterinary career – also known as the best career in the world to be in if you consider becoming an entrepreneur.
The veterinary community, the Potters say, is built on compassion and sincerity, so when it became evident Joe needed a partner, Laura’s employer knew just the prescription for their condition and worked with her to let her be more involved with the upstart business.
A year later and Trider’s Craft Beer has grown from Cumberland County’s first craft brewery into a Nova Scotia-known product, available at Nova Scotia Liquor Commission outlets and winning awards as they do.
Out of the gate, their red ale claimed gold in its category at the 2016 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards and they’ve continued to collect hardware along the way, including for the sense of fun and patriotism. In July their Brew-deau Canadian Cream Ale was named Most Canadian Beer by a panel of 12 judges in the Brew Patriot Love contest lead by Halifax’s Propeller Brewing.
Having something tangible to show for a hard day’s work while reclaiming the kitchen may have been the goal for the Potter’s, but friends and fun have been the rewards of becoming entrepreneurs.
“I enjoy handing someone a glass of beer and watching their reaction and their enthusiasm afterwards,” Laura says.
“They think, ‘Oh, craft beer. It’s going to be either like homebrew or over my head,’ then they’re like ‘Whoa! It’s good!” Joe says.


Just the Facts
Who: Joe and Laura Potter
What: Trider’s Craft Beer
Where: Amherst, N.S.
When: Established September 2016
Why: Brew beer and reclaim the family kitchen

Recent Stories