SPRYFIELD, NS – Three years after opening its doors in Spryfield, a small suburban community in Halifax, Serpent Brewing has ceased operations.
Serpent was launched in October 2020 by brewer and musician Glen O’Keefe, and expanded from a bottle shop to a full-service taproom in March 2021. As COVID restrictions were lifted, it soon became a popular spot in the community, hosting numerous live music performances and other events.
In this excerpt from a lengthy Facebook post announcing the closure, O’Keefe shores some fond memories about his three years in business, and also explains the reasons for the closure:
“The Serpent” Stage as the musicians called it. The place was a stage for so much more. How many people became friends in our taproom? How many people fell in love in our taproom? Who found their favourite beer? How many people saw their favourite show? Who played their first show? Who played their favorite? How many people can say that after spending so much time alone during the pandemic that Serpent was their first place out? How many people took their babies out or new puppies for the first time to Serpent? We had a celebration of life there! Someone got engaged there! For some it was a quiet solace, a chance to get out of the house for a minute to spend some time alone, and that was fine. How many people met the love of their life or their soulmate there? A friend of mine asked me “what defines a craft brewery?” being able to provide a space too accompany or a product to accompany those special interactions between people, That is what a craft brewery is.
So…. you’re probably still wondering why we’re closing, right?
Serpent Brewing, as much as it’s always been about the community, has always been too big for the community. We just can’t, no matter how hard we try, drink enough beer to pay for all that square footage and crazy price increases. When we started, a bag of malt was $30, now it’s $47 but pints were never gonna be $12 at Serpent no matter what. We always had our sights set on NSLC, and built our business plan around growth. After a successful year of selling our flagship Judas Belgian Blonde at a rate of one pallet per month (great for a new brewery, unheard of for a local belgian ale) we were refused any more shelf space and any more skus at NSLC.
The next time you are at NSLC I want you to ask yourself why there is an entire aisle of French, New Zealand, and Italian wines but Serpent Brewing is refused access to any more representation than once single can. The next time you are in Newfoundland, ask yourself why Marie’s Mini Mart as a corner store is the #1 reseller of NL craft beer but NSLC has the monopoly here.
For more details, see the full announcement.
Source: Atlantic Canada Beer Blog
Photo: Serpent Brewing