I should have known this I suppose, an apparently famous quote from the Governor of Nova Scotia appointed at the close of the American Revolution celebrating what he finds waiting for him at his new post. It is set out in a letter written by Governor John Parr on October 23, 1782 - eighteen days after his arrival - to his friend Colonel Grey:
Plenty of Provisions of all sorts except Flower, with a very good French cook to dress them, A Cellar well stock'd with Port, Claret, Madeira, Rum, Brandy, Bowood Strong Beer &c, a neat Income (including a Regimt of Provincials of which I am Colonel) of 2200 [pounds sterling] Sterg p Annum, an Income far beyond my expectations, plenty of Coals & Wood against the severity of the Winter, A house well furnish'd, and warm Cloths, that upon the whole my Dear Grey, your friend Parr is as Happy and comfortably seated, as you could wish an old friend to be...
Bowood Strong Beer! What was that in 1782? You will recall that we figured out that strong beer from Taunton England was shipped to the other side of the Atlantic making it to the very Mohawk Valley frontier in the 1760s. It was shipped through Bristol, a port which exported beer since at least the 1730s. Taunton is about 48 miles from Bristol. Bowood is closer - if we mean Bowood the estate, 38 miles to the east of Bristol. Bowood still exists and has been the home of the Marquesses of Lansdowne and one of whom, aka the Earl of Shelburne was Prime Minister in 1782 - the very man who appointed Parr to be Governor. We read here that the Marquess / PM is actually Parr's patron, as he was to Grey. Parr is his minor supporter. They are both Irish.
So, there are at least two possibilities. Either Bowood was like Taunton - a brewing centre that shipped to North America likely also through Bristol or, on the other hand, the strong beer is from Bowood Estate, a gift from the Prime Minister to his new Governor. Interestingly, Joseph Priestly, the man who discovered oxygen, was librarian at Bowood. He had earlier studied gases at a brewery. Priestly had a laboratory at Bowood House with the Earl acting, once again, as patron. The Earl and Priestley fell out in 1779. The poet Coleridge shows up at Bowood House a few decades later and moves, in fact, to the nearby town of Calne - where the folk who own the big house... also own a brewery. It could also still exist - as illustrated above in the era of really big tall hats - though as a hotel run by Arkells. It is a listed property and, maybe, where the beer that welcomed Governor Parr was brewed.