Interview with Steven Laffoley

In his newest release, writer Steven Laffoley tackles one of the east coast's most notable pass times: beer. Focusing specifically on Nova Scotia, Laffoley explores the beverage's expansive history while offering an in-depth education into the beer-making process.

In this short interview, Laffoley discusses his inspiration for writing the book and shares a bit about the writing process.

Unfiltered beer.jpg

What inspired you to write a book about beer in Nova Scotia?

I am fascinated by the history of common objects and their often complex relationship to a people or place. Beer is so much part of Nova Scotia’s identity that I was drawn to the idea of exploring it. Once I discovered how rich a history it was, I was hooked.  

 

What was the writing process like?

I decided early on that humour would be my storytelling device. As a result, the process was rather joyous, which is not always the case with writing books.

 

What are some of the most interesting things you’ve learned about beer in Nova Scotia?

In general, I was surprised by the richness of the stories and how they mirrored the social movements and deeper experiences of Nova Scotian history. Of course, you'll have to read the book to find out more…

 

What was your favorite part of writing the book?

The necessary and extensive fieldwork.

 

What do you hope people take away after reading the book?

Both a greater appreciation of how deeply beer figures in the fabric of Nova Scotian history and a pressing desire to buy many copies of the book for friends.

 

Apart from your book, what is one book you recommend people read?

Books are such a personal choice, so I am reluctant to suggest a title. That said, if this book pleases the reader, I suggest picking up a copy of “Mean Streets: in search of forgotten Halifax, 1954-1967.” It is another of my books, but it would offer  a similar kind journey to “Unfiltered.”

I am fascinated by the history of common objects and their often complex relationship to a people or place. Beer is so much part of Nova Scotia’s identity that I was drawn to the idea of exploring it. Once I discovered how rich a history it was, I was hooked.  

Pottersfield Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada for our publishing activities. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia to

develop and promote our creative industries for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.

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