New Port Union brewery to add electricity to the town

With the buzz still running strong surrounding craft breweries sprinkled throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, another is set to open in Port Union and housed in the old Union Electric building.

The new brewery will be housed in the old Union Electric building

A vintage photo of the Union Electric Building in Port Union. (Submitted )

With the buzz still running strong surrounding craft breweries sprinkled throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, another is set to open in Port Union and housed in the old union electric building, by a company fittingly called the Union Electric Brewing Company.

Nardia McGrath originally sold wine in Sydney, Australia. She is teaming up with Jane Tucker of Port Rexton Brewery to bring beer lovers more locally crafted suds well worth travelling for. 

McGrath says she had to get into the industry after falling in love with the brewing process.

She met Tucker while viewing the union building for the first time.  

"When I met her and she had the same idea, and she was passionate and outgoing, I thought great I can take this beautiful building and I can team up with someone who's equally as passionate and make a good business out of it," McGrath told CBC Radio's On The Go

"It's like a wooden building from the 1920s. The whole area was built by the union, it's a union built town."

Nardia McGrath is opening the Union Electric Brewing Company in Port Union. She hopes the business will be operational by next year. (Submitted)

McGrath plans to keep the building unscathed, utilizing the history of the structure to house her new venture.

"When you work with brewing equipment it's heavy, so the floors have to be solid enough to hold heavy equipment," she said.

"We also work a lot with heat and steam. It can be damaging if the ventilation isn't done properly ... So there's little things that you have to think about in order to not ruin the building, but also make it safe for everyone."

Adding to tourism

With Port Rexton just a short drive down the road from Port Union, roughly 25 kilometres, McGrath feels having both breweries in close proximity will just make for another stop for beer lovers.

"So if you're passionate about beer and you're going out to see a brewery already, then the fact that there's another brewery just 10 minutes down the road makes it more appealing to go out," she said.

Jane Tucker will partner with McGrath to bring beer lovers another craft brewery to the Trinity Bay area. (Submitted)

"And as more breweries open up around the province, to put breweries closer in one section, just makes it more beneficial to both the breweries in that area."

McGrath adds that most microbreweries work together, as opposed to against each other, to go after large corporations. 

"The craft beer market only holds about 5 per cent, if that, of the whole beer market," she said.

"So instead of fighting over a small portion, it works better for us to work together in order to get a larger portion."

McGrath hopes to have the Union Electric Brewing Company up and running sometime next year. 

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With files from On The Go