Pint glass runneth over: N.L. craft beer boom continues with festival and new breweries
Craft beer festival samples 120 beers, while 2 new microbreweries begin assessments
Newfoundland and Labrador's craft beer explosion is continuing, with a beer festival kicking off and environmental assessments beginning for two more microbreweries in the province.
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Mike Buhler, also known as the Beer Thief, is one of the organizers of the Craft Beer Attraction taking place at the St. John's Curling Club beginning Friday.
Buhler says there will be a tasting show with more than 120 beers, at least 60 of which have never before been available in the province.
There are so many flavours and so many textures in beer, you just have to find the right beer.- Mike Buhler
"It's a great opportunity to find something you've never found, or try a style you've never seen, a new brewery you've never heard of, and find your new favourite beer," he said.
"If you're a person that thinks you don't like beer, come out to this [event,] because there are so many flavours and so many textures in beer, you just have to find the right beer."
Local breweries like Port Rexton, Quidi Vidi, YellowBelly and Mill Street will all be taking part in the event, as well as others from across the country and around the world.
One of those is Le Trou du Diable, based in Shawinigan, Que. Co-founder Isaac Tremblay said the beer industry is quickly growing across the country, just as it is in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Nowadays there's so many breweries, it's easy to get different tastes," he said.
"Ten years ago you really had to travel in Canada, in the United States, Europe."
Nowadays there's so many breweries, it's easy to get different tastes.- Isaac Tremblay
Tremblay said he takes all that into account in his own brewing, and the expansion of beer has allowed breweries to push the limits and experiment, while still making tasty beer.
"It's crazy what you can do now that the industry has grown up … there's all kinds of labs and suppliers of equipment that can make your craziest dreams real," he said.
"That beer I've been brewing for 12 years, what if I add on some kiwi yeast, what would happen? The only way to know is to try it. That's why craft beer is so exciting."
The excitement of the craft beer boom has also paved the way for two new microbreweries, which are both now undergoing environmental assessment.
Baccalieu Trail Brewing Company has proposed to open a microbrewery in Bay Roberts, along with a tasting area and retail space.
Secret Cove Brewing Company has also submitted a proposal to open a microbrewery and taproom in Port au Port East to produce small-batch beer seasonally, from May until October.
The two new businesses will join already-operating breweries in St. John's, Port Rexton, Twillingate and Pasadena, as well as a long list of planned breweries that includes operations in Gander, Dildo, Milton and Corner Brook.
Final decisions on the breweries' assessments are expected by early November.
With files from On The Go