It’s getting dark earlier and the weather has decidedly cooled, which means it’s time for crisp evenings with crisp beers. And there are a lot of beers in the works for the next few months! We have a crop of six breweries fighting to get open by the end of the year, as well as a new addition to the Newfoundland craft beer list, so let’s take a little flight over the island to see what’s happening.
Eastern Avalon Breweries
Three of those six breweries vying to open this fall are on the Eastern Avalon with Landwash Brewery, Ninepenny Brewing, and the Fire Hall all having received 15 BBL systems from DME in the past few weeks. Commissioning has begun on all three systems which means all three will likely be pouring by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Quidi Vidi Brewing Company has continued to work on new collaborative project and events with local businesses, including launching a beer in collaboration with the MerB’ys for their charity calendar.
Finally, Yellowbelly Brewery and Public House has launched a new Blueberry Cider on tap at their brewery, while Storm Brewing has continued its rotation of Raspberry Wheat though likely we’ll be sipping on Coffee Porter in the coming months.
Western Avalon Breweries
Baccalieu Trail Brewing Co., is another one of the six working towards opening soon. With their first batches underway already, they are most likely the next brewery to open in Newfoundland.
Dildo Brewing Co.’s continued success has been recently covered in The Racket’s brewery tour of Newfoundland (read that here). And while all has been quiet on the Brigus Brewing Co. front, I do have confirmation that the project is still in planning and hoping for a 2019 opening.
Eastern and Central Breweries
Our new addition to the Newfoundland Craft Beer list is Union Electric Brewing Co, who have announced their intentions to open a brewery in Port Union in 2019 (you can read more on the CBC here). It’s exciting to think that a Bonavista brew tour might be possible next summer!
Split Rock Brewing Co and Port Rexton Brewing Co came together last week to take over the six taps at The Merchant Tavern in St. John’s. With some new beers, like Port Rexton‘s Drifter Gose and Split Rock‘s Oathkeeper IPA, it was a great showcase of the kind of beer events and interesting beers we’ll be seeing more of as our brewery scene develops.
Finally for this area, Scudrunner Brewing has continued their operations after a brief hiatus due to some plumbing issues and have oddly removed their page from Facebook.
Western Newfoundland Breweries
There is a lot happening right now in the West! Crooked Feeder Brewing Co has brewed a batch on their first batch of Bonne Bay Blonde and are expecting to be selling beer in the next month or so. Work on commissioning Secret Cove Brewing Co’s 15 BBL DME system is underway with brewing likely commencing soon. It still seems down to the wire of which of Secret Cove, Landwash, Ninepenny, and the Fire Hall will open first this fall.
Western Newfoundland Brewing Co has been somewhat quiet recently and their beer hasn’t appeared in St. John’s as frequently as over the winter months. Bootleg Brew Co seems to be having a great time playing with new beers and fun movie nights at their pub. And work still seems underway for RagnaRöck Northern Brewing Company Ltd who, having filed their environmental assessment, are aiming for a 2019 opening.
The Race to Open…
In the closing months of 2018 we have six breweries either brewing or in the final stages of getting their equipment placed and installed. It’s likely that Baccalieu Trail and Crooked Feeder are only weeks away from pouring their first beers. And it seems likely that before the end of 2018 Landwash, Ninepenny, Secret Cove, and the Fire Hall will all open their doors. That takes us from nine operating breweries (Quidi Vidi, Storm, Yellowbelly, Port Rexton, Western Newfoundland, Bootleg, Split Rock, Dildo, and Scudrunner) to fifteen, which isn’t bad when you consider that at the beginning of 2018 there were only seven (both Dildo and Scudrunner have already opened this year).
Boomstick looks as if they are well on the way to opening with equipment being received at their Corner Brook facility. The remaining breweries (Brigus Brewing Co, RagnaRöck Northern, Union Electric, and Labrador’s Iron Rock Brewing Company – with the removal of their social media and webpage, Rough Waters Brewing Co has been removed from this list) all have longer timelines into 2019. With Boomstick likely bringing the total to sixteen early next year, if the remaining four projects continue we could reach 20 breweries by the end of 2019. With this rush to open by year end, we’ll need the winter just to catch up on all the new beers coming our way.