North Brewing Company

Untapped Potential

In 2021, it seems that no matter where you are in Nova Scotia, you aren’t far from a craft brewery. It wasn’t always like this, with only a few craft breweries opening and then paving the way for a new generation of brewers. One of the first to open their doors was North Brewing Company, owned and operated by Rozina Darvesh, Peter Burbridge and Josh Herbin.

With a passion for craft beer and strong business acumen, the trio decided to open a tiny shop on Agricola Street in 2013. Although small, North Brewing Company was instantly embraced by the community, and their beer selection was met with high praises. After experiencing consistent sales and line-ups around their block, they knew a bigger space would be required to meet the strong demand. 

After a successful two years of business, the idea to open Battery Park Beerbar and Eatery in partnership with George and Leo Christakos of Brooklyn Warehouse came to light. However, they wanted to be more than just a bar or restaurant; they wanted to be interwoven into the fabric of their community.

To get the ball rolling, the North Brewing team met with their financial institution at the time. “We were excited for this new venture and went in enthusiastically to explain our business plan. They then had us fill out an application and after a few days, we found out our loan was rejected,” says Darvesh.

Despite being denied their loan, the trio knew it wasn’t the end of the road for their dream. North Brewing Company had a proven sales history, strong customer support and they knew Dartmouth was an untapped market. Like choosing the right hops for their beer, they just needed to choose the right banking partner.

“With a larger institution you’re just a number. You meet with them and fill out your application and then they send it off to Toronto where they plop it into a spreadsheet and that determines if it is a yes or a no. There’s no consideration for the community. There’s no consideration for who you are as a person,” says Burbridge.  

From their first meeting with CUA, the owners felt that CUA not only supported their dream, but understood the complexities of building communities through business. “CUA worked directly with the community that we wanted to expand to. They had firsthand knowledge of the people who live and work there. They knew the area had potential,” remembers Burbridge.

After successfully opening the Battery Park Beerbar and Eatery, North Brewing went on to open a taproom and kitchen in Cole Harbour and are in the processing of opening a third location in Timberlea.

“CUA has the bandwidth to consider more than just quantitative factors. They can look at the full picture. And that’s a huge difference when you’re starting out and don’t have the capital or access to more capital,” says Burbridge.

Since the early days of their tiny storefront on Agricola, the North Brewing Company has transitioned from simply delivering a product to building a community. They’ve been a hub for people to come together and engage with one another. Community is at the heart of every business decision they make, explains Burbridge. “We found that building community relationships and working towards solving issues of equity and social justice are more rewarding than endlessly pursuing wholesale opportunities.”

In 2018, they launched the annual North Brewing Co. scholarship aimed at increasing Diversity and Inclusion in the brewing industry. The scholarship provides financial support for up to four years of schooling and guarantees summer employment for the duration of the recipient’s education. Most recently, they participated in the Black Lives Matter Golf Tournament and donated $14,000 to The Change is Brewing Collective, an organization which aims to make Nova Scotia's brewing industry more representative and inclusive.

“CUA believed in our vision and were willing to take a chance with Battery Park, and because of that, we have been able to help grow our communities. It really was the beginning of the flywheel spinning for us,” says Burbridge.

We’re proud of the work we do to support businesses starting, growing, or adapting in any environment. Learn more about our flexible 
commercial banking services, including account and financing options. Are you a CUA small business with a story to share? Email to connect with a member of our team.



Find Branch/ATM

Enter address, postal code or branch name