Mark Burry & Julian Kean, two best friends and 3rd cousins from Glovertown, have launched Newfoundland’s latest brewery. Baccalieu Trail Brewing opened last weekend in Bay Roberts, and brought our provincial Craft Brewery Count up to one dozen.
Burry and Kean got keen on beer from their adventures in homebrewing. As they were mastering their hobby, they couldn’t help but notice the craft beer boom happening around the province. Breweries were not just popping up in urban centres, but in vibrant rural towns like Twillingate, Port Rexton, and Dildo, where they quickly became social hubs in their communities.
The duo settled of Bay Roberts to launch their brewery because it’s an area Burry was drawn to. “It’s a large population base under-served in craft beer, like most rural areas in Newfoundland” Burry says.
“We settled on Bay Roberts, came out and met with a few people, and ended up buying our location here on Shearstown Beach.” He says the whole town and neighbouring communities have been very welcoming. This includes the folks at the nearby Newfoundland Distillery Co. in Clarke’s Beach.
“They’ve been really supportive. For example, they have a guy who’s really good at instrumentation and controls. We had a few questions for him, and he popped down. They were all here at our grand opening too.”
The ladies at Port Rexton lent a helping hand as well. “We popped out there early last summer, and Sonja and Alicia have been very helpful ever since,” from guidance on business proposals through to help with installing their brewing equipment. Dildo Brewing & Mill Street have also popped by to help them get going.
Meet the Beers
The brewery will launch with a New England IPA, a porter, a blonde ale, and an English bitter. So, something for everyone. “We wanted to name our beers after different landmarks or history around Bay Roberts” Burry explains.
Mad Rock (New England IPA)
Their New England IPA is named after Mad Rock, a highlight of the Bay Roberts Shoreline Heritage Walking Trail. To quote the Town of Bay Roberts’ website, “The reason for the name ‘mad rock’ becomes clear to anyone who experiences the surf pounding the shore here.”
Baccalieu Blonde (Blonde Ale)
Like every brewery, they offer a blonde ale, as it’s a crowd pleaser and a craft beer gateway for the less adventurous patron.
Smoke Room (Porter)
This one is named after the smoke room on the famed SS Kyle; the history-rich ship that is visibly run aground in Harbour Grace. If the name has you wondering if it’s a smoked porter, it’s not. “Some people say there’s a little smokiness in it, but it mostly has notes of dark chocolate and caramel.”
Winterman’s ESB (Extra Special Bitters)
“We got the name from a local friend of ours, Brent Jones,” Burry says. “He’s an engineer, but he’s also a bit of an historian. Back in the times of slavery in the United States, some African Americans escaped and made their way here to Newfoundland in ships, on their way to wherever they were headed. Brent said his grandparents and family, like a lot of other Newfoundlanders, took these people in for the winter. Gave them food and a warm place to stay until spring, when they were on their way.” He says it’s a “nice piece of history that speaks to the kindness and generosity of Newfoundlanders.”
Cheers to that, and their Winterman’s ESB: no other local brewery is making a bitters, so far, as part of their core beers. But it was one of Burry & Kean’s favourite homebrews, so they made it one of the brewery’s core offerings.