Category Archives: Quidi Vidi Brewing

Any Mummer’s ‘Lowed in?

Hark, what’s that noise, out by the porch door?
Dear Granny, there’s mummers, there’s twenty or more.
Her old weathered face lightens up with a grin.
“Any mummers, nice mummers ‘lowed in?”

It’s Christmas time in Newfoundland and I’m home for the holidays, which means drinking lots of Newfoundland Christmas beer.

Yellowbelly at Christmas - Photo Credit to Joyce Conway

Yellowbelly at Christmas – Photo Credit to Joyce Conway

Fortunately for craft beer drinkers, two of Newfoundland’s craft breweries have recently started producing seasonal ales for the holidays. Quidi Vidi began producing their Mummer’s Brew (an rich Amber Ale) several years ago.


The Original Label for Quidi Vidi Mummer’s Brew

Originally featuring a Newfoundland Mummer’s party – a night of dressing up and touring around the community dancing, drinking, and playing music – the label has now been modernized to fit in with their new streamlined packing design. Its available on tap at a few places in the city (I’ve had it at Christian’s on George and the Duke of Duckworth so far) and it’s also in 6-packs at NLC locations and at the brewery (which is also beautifully decorated for Christmas)!


The other seasonal beer brewed up for Christmas is Yellowbelly’s Mummer’s Brew. I know – I know – there are only three craft breweries in Newfoundland and two of those three have made a Christmas seasonal with the same name… Go figure!

Yellowbelly Mummer's Brew, 2012.

Yellowbelly Mummer’s Brew, 2012.

Yellowbelly’s Mummer’s Brew first appeared in 2011 when it was a quite tasty spiced Winter Ale. This year (2012) it has changed to a 7% Chocolate Porter. Its available down at the brewery on tap and in bottles, which you can also find at NLC locations.

The Washington Post; Dec 10, 1947.

The Washington Post; Dec 10, 1947.

I should mention that Storm’s Coffee Porter has long been a Christmas tradition for me. It’s their Winter seasonal! (See my post on Storm for more about them!)

Oh, I suppose you fine mummers would turn down a drop,
Of homebrew or alky, whatever you got.
Sure the one with his rubber boots on the wrong feet,
needs enough for to do him all week.

As the first year comes to a close for the Newfoundland Beer History Project, I’d like to say thank you for everyone that’s shown encouragement for this project and who has shared in my interest in learning about Newfoundland’s beer history! Over 10,000 people have checked out this blog in this first year and I’ve got a lot more planned for the future. I hope the holidays treat everyone well and that good beer can find you where ever you are!


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More on the Quidi Vidi Brewing British IPA

So a few posts back I mentioned that Quidi Vidi Brewing brought the IPA style back to the island after a far too long hiatus. IPA’s are one of the most popular craft beer styles in North America, so it’s really about time Newfoundland started to catch up.

There are several varieties of IPA, the more popular style is the American West Coast IPA which has big fruit and floral aromas from the hops, while the British is slightly more malt-centered with a rich, citrus-copper bitter finish.

I am very fortunate to have a friend who was willing to ship eight bottles up to Toronto so I could give it a try. I don’t want to discuss the taste to much on here, it’s not the function of this blog to review beer, but I strongly suggest that if you are in Newfoundland then you should to drop down to the brewery and pick up at least a 6 pack! It’s exciting to see beers coming from Newfoundland with a more pronounced hop character.

Quidi Vidi Brewing British IPA, circa 2012

The haul in Toronto.

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Quidi Vidi Brewing Release a Seasonal British IPA

This is more about current events than about brewing history, but I am happy to announce that Quidi Vidi Brewing are bringing the IPA style back to the island. No IPAs have been brewed commercially (as far as I know) in Newfoundland for home consumption (though Yellowbelly’s Hodge Podge seasonal was close) since the end of the “India Pale Ale” by Newfoundland Brewery (excepting homebrew, of course).

This is a British IPA, not a more America hop-heavy version, about which they state: “IPA’s are brewed strong and are highly hopped  originally to withstand the voyage from England to India.” While I’m not in Newfoundland right now I do have some pictures provided by my folks.

A picture of the Quidi Vidi British India Pale Ale seasonal, circa March 17, 2012.

A close up of the British IPA label, circa March 17, 2012.











If all goes well I might have a couple of bottles to sample in Toronto later this week. If that happens I’ll update with some thoughts on the taste and a high-quality label scan. Hopefully it’s hopped enough to survive the voyage up!

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Overview: Quidi Vidi Brewing

Quidi Vidi Brewing (1996-)

Location: Quidi Vidi Village

Brands: 1892, Eric’s Cream Ale, Iceberg, Honey Brown, Premium, and Light.

Quidi Vidi Brewing, founded in 1995 (and first brewing in 1996) by David Rees and David Fong, was the first independent brewery to open in Newfoundland since 1962. It was built, and is currently, on the site of the old Cabot Seafood Plant in Quidi Vidi Village, St. John’s. On their website they say that they were inspired by the craft beer scene in North American and wanted to import a little of that spirit back into Newfoundland by breaking with “the non-descript beer styles being produced by the larger breweries.” They produce using only water, malt, hops and yeast without additives or preservatives, with the exception of honey in their Honey Brown.

In many ways Quidi Vidi has attempted to compete with the major macros by focusing on Canadian lager (“QV”) and light lager (“QV Light”) styles, providing a high alcohol lager (“7”), and attempting to innovate with a beer-cooler which was flavoured with Purity syrup (“Cranberry Cloud”). Both 7 and Cranberry Cloud have since been discontinued. A recent rebrand of their bottles, making QV simply “Premium Lager” and  QV Light with “Light Lager,” and rebranding “Eric’s Red Cream Ale” to “Eric’s Cream Ale” to avoid the constant expectation that it may actually be a red beer. “1892” is what they call a “traditional ale” which has been designed to emulate what beer may have tasted like in 1892, the year of the great St. John’s fire, by using the hop varities which would have been imported to Newfoundland at the time (largely Saaz hops, if memory serves). In 2011 they updated their Christmas “Mummer’s Brew” into a seasonal beer series, the second of which is a British IPA, making it the first IPA to be brewed commercially in Newfoundland since the demise of “India Pale Ale” by the Newfoundland Brewing Company. World-wide they are known for their “Iceberg beer,” which comes in a unique blue bottle and is made from melted iceberg water.

Just for full disclosure, I have probably drank more 1892 than any other beer. It’s very, very close to my heart.

The Quidi Vidi Brewery Beer Wall

The beer wall at Quidi Vidi Brewery circa 2011/2012

Bonus! A video from user CanadianTourism’s youtube channel (click on the video for more from CanadianTourism) where Dave discusses Iceberg beer. It’s not actually 15 minutes outside of St. John’s, it’s just on the outskirts of the East End. It’s actually about a 15 minute walk from where I grew up!


“Occasions Magazine – Newfoundland Liquor Corporation: Quidi Vidi Brewery – Celebrating 15 Years” Newfoundland Liquor Corperation Summer 2011

Our StoryQuidi Vidi Brewing Company 2012, last accessed February 17, 2011.

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