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A Guide to Newfoundland Craft Breweries

Guide to Newfoundland Breweries

Updated: December 31, 2018

Newfoundland beer might be a bit late to the microbrewery and craft beer game but we’re starting to catch up in a big and tasty way. While our oldest brewery opened in 1996, it didn’t have a lot of company until 2008. Now here it is, winter of 2018, and there are over a dozen open or soon-to-be-open Newfoundland breweries right across the province and a tour company offering beer tours in the capital city. For a province that’s typically known for mass brewed, but limited availability, beer like Black Horse and India (Molson Coors) or Blue Star and Jockey Club (Labbatt) we’re becoming a legit craft beer destination.

How Many Microbreweries in Newfoundland?

At the moment, there are 13 craft breweries open in Newfoundland, with another 9 in various stages of start-up.

If you’re visiting and want to know where to find all this delicious new craft beer, I’ve compiled a handy guide to Newfoundland breweries. I’ve decided to leave out the two national breweries in town: Molson Coors and Labatt, and instead focus on smaller operations.

CURRENTLY OPERATING

 

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Quidi Vidi Brewery

Quidi Vidi Brewing Co.

Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. opened for business in 1996 as one of the first microbreweries in Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s located in Quidi Vidi village just a few minutes from the heart of downtown St. John’s and offer brewery tours and tasting during the summer. My favourite of theirs is the Iceberg Beer, made from melted down local iceberg ice, making it a super pure taste.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: St. John’s
  • First Brewed: 1996
  • Beer Styles: 7 + seasonal
  • Availability: In NLC stores across the province

 

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YellowBelly Brewery

YellowBelly Brewery & Public House

YellowBelly was the first new entry to the microbrewery business in over a decade and remains the only locally owned brewpub in the province. This is one of the first places I recommend visitors stop for a bite and a pint. Housed in a fully restored building from 1846 the place oozes character. I’m a fan of the Wexford Wheat but if you’re a Guinness drinker, their St. John’s Stout can’t be beat.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: St. John’s
  • First Brewed: 2008
  • Beer Styles: 5 + seasonal
  • Availability: Growlers available at the brewpub

 

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Mill Street Brewery

Mill Street BrewPub

Mill Street is neither locally-owned, nor micro, but since they do brew right in the Harbour Drive location and have some recipes that are specific to St. John’s, they made the list. They’re paired up with BierMarkt and offer the largest selection of beer in town. It’s a fun place to get together with friends for happy hour $5 pints.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: St. John’s
  • First Brewed: 2016
  • Beer Styles: rotating selection of local brews
  • Availability: In NLC stores across the province at at the brewpub

 

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Storm Brewing

Storm Brewing

Storm Brewing is one of the oldest microbrews in Newfoundland and probably the one that people know least about aside from the fact that they’ve stuck to the Newfoundland style stubby bottles. They don’t have any public buildings and their supply can be spotty so it’s not always available but if you can get your hands on some raspberry wheat, grab it.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Mount Pearl
  • First Brewed: 1995 (as Freshwater Brewing)
  • Beer Styles: 5 – coffee porter, Irish red, raspberry wheat, hemp ale, pale golden ale
  • Availability: In select NLC stores

 

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Port Rexton Brewing Co

Port Rexton Brewing Co.

Port Rexton Brewing Co. is the current tourism and local brewing darling. They opened last summer and couldn’t keep up with demand. It seemed the most unlikely thing, a microbrewery in a town of 350 people but Newfoundlanders were clamouring for more craft beer and the local community welcomed the out of town brewers with open arms. In short time, the taproom has become the hub of the community and people routinely make the three hour drive from St. John’s to have a taste. If you want a perfect day, hike the Skerwink Trail and then head to the Port Rexton taproom for a pint of Baycation Blonde. You’re welcome.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Port Rexton
  • First Brewed: 2016
  • Beer Styles: 9 (available on rotation)
  • Availability: Growlers available at the taproom and on tap at 6 St. John’s restaurants

 

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Western Newfoundland Brewing co

Western Newfoundland Brewing Co.

The Western Newfound Brewing Co is considered a nano-brewery, producing up to five kegs a day. It’s small but mighty…and only available in western Newfoundland. They have no public brewhouse but during the summer you can find their beer on tap at a handful of restaurants, like Galliott Studios in Gros Morne.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Pasadena
  • First Brewed: 2016
  • Beer Styles: 2 – Cream Ale, Pale Ale
  • Availability: Select western Newfoundland restaurants

 

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Bootleg Brew Co.

Bootleg Brew Co.

Bootleg Brew Co. is now open at 92 West Street, Corner Brook. They’re a 3-barrel capacity microbrewery with a lounge area for tasting beer, filling growlers and selling branded merchandise. The beer produced is small batch, hand crafted beer made from all natural ingredients (water, yeast, grain and hops) and has no added preservatives. The microbrewery is be capable of producing up to 561 hectolitres per year.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Corner Brook
  • First Brewed: January 19, 2018
  • Beer Styles: 5 – Pale Ale, IPA, Amber Rye, Spruce Ale, ISA
  • Availability: At the taproom

 

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Split Rock Brewing

Split Rock Brewing Co.

Twillingate already has icebergs, whales, stupidly beautiful scenery, and as of this summer it has microbrewery. The owner group has a love of English-style beers so that’s what you can expect. Split Rock Brewing opened for business on August 21, 2017 so be sure to have a pint when you’re in Twillingate.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Twillingate
  • First Brewed: 2017
  • Beer Styles: 6 – bitter, red ale, brown ale, stout, IPA, Belian witbier, cream ale
  • Availability: At the taproom

 

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Scud Runner Brewing

ScudRunner Brewing

ScudRunner Brewing is now open in Gander! They have an open concept taproom so that patrons can observe the brewing process. I plan to get out for a visit this summer.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Gander
  • First Brewed: May 30, 2018
  • Beer Styles: 4 – Ale, Lager, Kolsch, Bitter
  • Availability: At the taproom

 

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Dildo Brewing Co.

Dildo Brewing Company

It makes sense that the town of Dildo would want to cash in on the popularity of breweries. They already get a lot of attention and tourism because of their name. Can’t you just imagine it on a beer label. :P The Dildo Brewing Company poured their first pints just before Canada Day this year.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Dildo
  • First Brewed: June 28, 2018
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: At the taproom

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Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co

Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company

Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company is set up in the Town of Bay Roberts, along the Conception Bay Highway, on the Baccalieu Trail. The microbrewery has a 5-barrel capacity, along with a taproom, and retail space. The microbrewery will produce approximately 1,300 barrels (1,525 hectolitres) of beer per year. They’re hoping to be opening in late fall 2018.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Bay Roberts
  • First Brewed: November 10, 2018
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: At the taproom

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Crooked Feeder Brewing

Crooked Feeder Brewing Co.

Crooked Feeder Brewing Co. is full steam ahead. They don’t have a taproom to start, but plan on adding it within two years. “The microbrewery is located in a leased building at 349 Veterans Drive, on the former Cormack Woodworks mill site. The microbrewery will produce 600 hectolitres of beer per year. They plan to initially supply to local taprooms and distribution via growler sales and deliveries. Future expansion plans are to add a taproom and store within two years.” They delivered their first keg to Newfound Sushi on November 22, 2018.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Cormac
  • First Brewed: November 2018
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: Newfound Sushi

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Landwash Brewery

Landwash Brewery

Landwash Brewery is proposing to operate a craft brewery and on-site taproom at 181-183 Commonwealth Avenue, Mount Pearl. They will occupy 557 m² (6000 square feet) of space and, in addition to the taproom, will include the brewing, canning, packaging, and distribution of beer products. They aim to be brewing by the end of 2018.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Mount Pearl
  • First Brewed: December 2018
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: At their taproom

 

WORKS IN PROGRESS

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Secret Cove Brewing

Secret Cove Brewing Company

The third of the yet-to-open set is Secret Cove Brewing Company on the Port au Port peninsula. The beer produced will be small batch hand-crafted beer made from all natural ingredients (water, yeast, grain and hops) with no added preservatives.  Follow them on Twitter to see the process involved in getting a new brewery up and running. They will run a seasonal public taproom as well out of the former Viking Lounge space on Main Rd in Port au Port East.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Port au Port East
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles:
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Motion Bay Brewing Co

Motion Bay Brewing Company

June 26, 2018 – Due to circumstances beyond their control, Motion Bay Brewing will no longer be opening.

 

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Rough Waters Brewing Co

Rough Waters Brewing

Project currently on hiatus.

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Boomstick Brewing Co

Boomstick Brewing Company

Boomstick Brewing Company will be the 3rd microbrewery in western Newfoundland. They’re proposing to open a microbrewery at 53-55 West Street in the City of Corner Brook. The microbrewery will occupy a 7,000 square foot portion of a building owned by Major’s Logging Limited. The operation will have a 3,000 hectolitre per year brewing capacity (15-barrel) and include a tap room, growler fill station and retail area. Opening in 2019.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Corner Brook
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Brigus Brewing Co

Brigus Brewing Co

Brigus Brewing Co has run their first test brew but are a few months from opening. They’ll be operating out of 23-25 Station Road in the pretty town of Brigus. They ran test brews in July 2018 but have not updated since.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Brigus
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: 5
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Ninepenny Brewing

Ninepenny Brewing

Work is currently underway to bring a microbrewery to Conception  Bay South. In addition to the brewery, Ninepenny will also feature a taproom, growler filling, and the sale of select beers to restaurants and taprooms. All beers will be brewed using natural ingredients and will source local ingredients when pos sible. Ninepenny will offer a range of popular beer types, as well as rotating specialty tapsthat will offer seasonal and one-off varieties. The project has received government approval and are aiming to open by the end of 2018.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Conception Bay South
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Bannerman Brewing Co

Bannerman Brewing Co.

The plan is to convert the former East End fire station on Duckworth Street into a brew pub. Details will be added as known. Planning to open in December 2018.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: St. John’s
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company Ltd

RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company

Work is currently underway to bring a microbrewery to the Northern Peninsula in the town of St. Anthony. The proposed brewery would be housed in the former Clock Shopping Centre and would also provide a space for art shows, performances, and other community events. They are aiming to open June 2019. More details as they become available.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: St. Anthony
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: 5
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Iron Rock Brewing Company

Iron Rock Brewing Company

This will be the first microbrewery in Labrador. Iron Rock Brewing Company Ltd. is proposing to establish a 120 litre brewhouse at 211 Drake Ave in Labrador City. The beer will be sold by the keg to customers in the surrounding area. They are hoping to be open by spring 2019.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Labrador City
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Union Electric Brewing Co.

Union Electric Brewing Company

This brewery will open in 2019 in the old Union Electric building in the Bonavista Peninsula town of Port Union.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Port Union
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Major’s Logging Limited

Major’s Logging Limited has announced they’ll be building a brewery & boutique hotel in Deer Lake. Details are scant, but it’ll be in the former Bargain Shop space on Water Street, and will have a taproom with growler fills.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Deer Lake
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: N/A
  • Availability: Not yet brewing

 

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Newfoundland Cider Company

Newfoundland Cider Company

While not a brewery, I’m including the Newfoundland Cider Company on the list. They’re using previously neglected apple trees to develop ultra-local cider.

Fact Sheet

  • Location: Milton
  • First Brewed: N/A
  • Beer Styles: Cider
  • Availability: NLC and at their taproom

 

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All this talk of beer and breweries has made me pretty thirsty. It’s also made me daydream about opening up my own microbrewery on the Baccalieu Trail. I bet Brigus or Cupids would be a great spot. For now, I’ll content myself with planning a cross-province tour to check out all of the great brews coming out of Newfoundland.

Are you a craft beer drinker? Which brewery are you most excited about?

7 responses to “A Guide to Newfoundland Craft Breweries”

  1. Roger Gillard says:

    Wow. A great list, however I’m disappointed to see Mill St on this list. They are owned by AB InBev, a large multinational company out to destroy the local craft beer.
    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/business/beer-craftbeer-bigbeer-brewery-hops-barley-labatt-molson-1.4202758#commentwrapper

  2. Christine says:

    Do any of these breweries offer a Gluten Free Beer?

  3. Tom Callaghan says:

    Thank you for this comprehensive listing. Travelling from Ontario in late June 2018. Looking forward to hitting as many as we can and to your updates as we get close to then. Keep up the fine work!

  4. Craig Fowler says:

    Last weekend my wife and I went on a beer & wine tour. Our first stop was Scudrunner in Gander which unfortunately was closed due to technical issues. The owner was present and sold me an empty growler as a souvenier of our visit. We then travelled to Twillingate to visit Split Rock brewery. Sampling most of their beers with their sour being our favorite resulting in a grunter fill. While in Twillingate we also did a tasting at Auk Island winery. Though I am not a fruit wine fan we did pick up a couple of bottles (Outport & Aurora). The next day we left for a visit to the Port Rexton brewery. I have to say I preferred the beers I have sampled at their St. John’s tap room location. The only beer offered for growler fills was T-Rex Porter (2 grunters for me). We then headed to Clarenville to visit The Newfoundland Cider Co. This was a real disappointment as well as despite their Facebook page indicating they were open they were not. We decided to make a run to the local NL Liquor store and purchased a couple of their Old Tilt Ciders which I thought were quite good (high praise from me as I normally do not like cider. The next morning we headed off to Dildo for our second visit to their brewery this summer. Our beer of choice here was a growler fill of Blue Eyed Blonde. We then visited the future home of two breweries Baccalieu Trail in Bay Roberts and Brigus Brewing Co. I even popped in to The Newfoundland Distillery in Clarke’s Beach. On Thursday evening we rounded out our east coast tour with a visit to Quidi Vidi with a growler fill of Iceberg though the Three Seasons Saison would have been my first choice based on our flight sampler. Note: We did not leave out YellowBelly brewery which we had visited a couple of weeks back buying a Fighting Irish Red growler fill on that occasion. Looking forward to trying the West Coast breweries next summer as well as the many new breweries opening soon.

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