This is part of a series of brief interviews with members of Canadian Premier League supporters’ groups across the country. Each supporters group was asked the same basic questions, in an attempt to get a proper feeling for the similarities and differences that we’ll see from supporters across the country when the league officially kicks off in 2019.

In addition, supporters groups were asked to provide a local beer, or a beer that best represents their group. As a result, these articles will have two parts: The Interview and The Beer.

The Interview

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and the group.

A. My name is Garrett McPhee, I’ve been involved with Privateers 1882 since the very beginning. I made the Twitter account for the group way back in September 2016, and kinda sat on it for a while, until December of that year. That’s when news broke that SEA was trying to bring a CPL team to Halifax, and so I started organizing.

Privateers 1882 (or Wanderers SG as we were known at the time) first met online in January of 2017, and we started making our plans. At the time, I was living in Edmonton. I didn’t have plans of leaving, but things changed, and I found myself back in Nova Scotia just last year.

On May 22nd, we had a meeting where everyone who wanted to be involved was invited. At the meeting (which had about 30+ people in attendance) we decided on our name as you know it today.

Q. What brought you to Privateers 1882 and soccer, in general?

A. I played soccer when I was younger, but as most Canadian soccer fans over a certain age can tell you, watching soccer on TV back in the day was nearly impossible. I didn’t truly become a fan until the 2014 World Cup. I was living in Edmonton at the time, and I started going to FC Edmonton games, and I was hooked right away. Seeing the ESG changed everything.

Q. Are there any values and support vision attached to the group?

A. At this present day, there is no club charter so to speak, so we haven’t actually codified any “vision” or “values” per se. However, I can tell you that we are all on the same page when it comes to realizing that supporters are more than fans. There are some core values that we just naturally hold as Haligonians with civic pride – inclusiveness being a huge one. We want to better our community in any way we can, and we can use the Wanderers to rally around to accomplish that.

Q. Tell us about some of the initiatives the group is involved in?

A. Right now we’re organizing and getting ready for kickoff in April of next year. Spreading awareness of the team and league is still a huge priority. Remember – outside the soccer bubble the CPL isn’t headline news yet. We’re organizing World Cup viewing parties, starting recreational teams and good old fashioned word-of-mouth advertising.

Q. With no Canadian Premier League teams playing in 2018, is there another team that your group has been supporting?

A. Not really. Everyone has their own team. Some would count themselves as TFC fans, a few Impact fans, and even a Revs fan, but the group as a whole only supports the Wanderers.

Q. What does your supporters group do, or plan to do, on game day to make it a more exciting match?

A. Well we’ve got some big plans. We’ve already got Gillian, our bagpiper. There’s so many pubs and gathering places near to the Wanderers Grounds that marches to the match will be natural. We don’t want to reveal all our cards yet, but we’re going to go the extra mile.

Q. Without a current CanPL team, how do you explain your passion to other people who may not understand the time and resources you dedicate to Halifax Wanderers?

A. The soccer culture in Halifax is actually pretty healthy. Most people know that soccer fans are more rabid and louder than other sports fans. With the team having had its launch already, public interest is high, and I think we made a pretty good first impression at the launch event.

When the team is here, we won’t have to explain, the people of Halifax will hear us anyway.

Q. One of the big question marks is where will they play. If CanPL launches a team in Halifax, is Wanderer’s Grounds the best location for the stadium? Why?

A. Absolutely. There’s no doubt. There’s really no other place in the city I’d rather play.

Q. When I contacted you, I asked that you send a local beer, or a beer that best represents the supporters of Halifax. Why was this your pick and where could our readers go to try some?

 A. We sent you some Dark and Keji Black IPA from Boxing Rock Brewing Co.

Dark as Keji was brewed to raise awareness and funds for Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. The park is the only Dark Sky Preserve in Nova Scotia, meaning there is zero light pollution there. You can see the night sky like never before. It’s truly breathtaking.

We felt a beer that doesn’t just taste good, but actually does good aligned perfectly with our views.

As for the beer itself, Emily Tipton, the recipe’s creator says it’s “dark like the night sky, with a taste bright like the stars”.

Q. Let’s face it, bars and pubs are definitely big for local and visiting supporters. Tell us a little about the pub or bar that Halifax Wanderers prefer, and a place where you might recommend a visiting supporter to try out.

A. There’s too many to choose. There’s literally dozens within walking distance to the Wanderers Grounds. We’ve had pubs reaching out to us to offer us a place for pre/post game parties and viewing parties. Celtic Corner, Niche, HFX Sports, The Pint, Durty Nelly’s, yadda, yadda. We’ll be Wandering around to various pubs.

Q. Besides the home supporters section during a match, is there a place that visiting supporters may be tempted to visit, but should actually avoid. Why?

A. Don’t be a part of the Harbour Hopper problem. Be a part of the Harbour Hopper solution. Just don’t.

Q. Finally, how can people join your group?

A. Right now we don’t have a formal membership structure. We will probably be implementing one in the future, but we will consult with people by hosting a public meeting for anyone interested first.

In the meantime, you can get involved by following us on:

Facebook  – @Privateers1882

Twitter – @Privateers 1882

Instagram – @Privateers1882

Our website – www.Privateers1882.ca (join our mailing list!)


The Beer

Privateers 1882, previously known as the Halifax Wanderers, sent me a couple of Dark as Keji from Boxing Rock Brewing.

This beer is described as a Black or Cascadian Dark Ale, however, these terms don’t really have much meaning on the East Coast. As a result, Boxing Rock describes it as and India Pale Ale in all but colour. India pale ale is a hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale.  The term pale ale originally denoted an ale that had been brewed from pale malt. The difference, in Boxing Rock’s words: “Dark as Keji is at once hoppy, fresh and bright, and dark, dark, dark. A hop-forward IPA with a gorgeous roasty body, fruity middle notes, and then backed up by bracing bitterness in the finish.”

Sadly, I didn’t really get to enjoy any of that body and finish. The bottle likely was shaken up en-route to Sudbury, Ontario from Halifax, NS, resulting in a taste that was 80% head. From the remaining 20%, I was definitely able to detect some fruity tones, but it was barely a splash on the tongue. Of all the beer that was sent to me, I was looking forward to this one the most, but I was left painfully disappointed.

Sadly, as a result of the shake-up, this drink only earned a 1.00/5.00 from me on Untapped, but sits at 3.79/5.00 overall on the beer drinker’s social network. I will make it to Halifax to watch a match between them and the not-yet-officially announced Victoria team sometime in the next 5-years, so I’ll be very happy to retry and review it again then.

Are you from Halifax and have different suggestions for visiting supporters? Let us know in the comments.

If you think a different brew would better represent the area, feel free to message the author for his mailing information and send him a can.

The next article in this series will be released in 2-weeks. Be sure to check back.

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