No one’s complaining about food culture in Newfoundland anymore, but the craft beer scene here is a different story. It’s lagging, and the success of the craft beer section in the NLC these last 2 years is proof there’s demand for it.
Luckily, the difference between 3 local craft breweries and 4 is notable, and as of this summer, Port Rexton Brewery is Newfoundland’s 4th, joining the ranks of Storm, Quidi Vidi, and Yellowbelly. A fifth, based out of Pasadena, is hot on its heels.
Port Rexton Brewing is co-owned by a married couple, Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills, who met “hesitantly, over a casual beer through a mutual friend’s insistence.” Were it not for their insistent friend, we wouldn’t officially have our first new microbrewery in years.
One thing they found they had in common was a passion for craft beer; a passion they fueled in each other. And we’re talking true passion here: the couple has been known to ski to pubs on storm days. Any hiking or rock climbing adventures are followed with a pint of good beer, and their road trips “include at least one microbrewery stop. We even built a craft beer bar for our craft-beer themed wedding. No joke.”
The two gathered a lot of experience in Nova Scotia’s craft brewery movement, and were members of the Ladies Beer League. “As the craft beer scene evolved in Nova Scotia, we attended many unique and educational events and festivals.” Before too long, Alicia was apprenticing and brewing.
They’ll be operating out of a converted property in their namesake town, and the space will be open concept with a tap room where you can sit and order samples, taster flights, and full pints of beer every afternoon and evening.
As for the big question of what they’ll be brewing? Stellar stouts? Awesome ales? Lovely lagers? Last we spoke to them they said “We’re hoping to open our season with three beers, a Porter, an IPA, and a Blonde Ale.”
They will also be offering an ever-changing “#smallbatchseries, which is one or two additional styles [but] only one or two kegs of these each time. These styles will always be changing and providing more variety at our location.” The near future holds beers like an American Wheat, a Moroccan-Spiced Brown Ale, a Witbier, and possibly a Bock.
Horse Chops IPA
A medium-bodied American-style IPA, that packs a strong floral and citrusy finish. Straight form the horse’s mouth, “The Horse Chops IPA is best enjoyed after a strenuous hike or a great day mountain biking, rock climbing or kayaking. Also enjoyed with Parcheesi or crokinole.”
Island Blonde Ale
“Our Blonde Ale is a refreshing ale balanced with toasted malt character and hints of aromatic hop spice that provide a crisp, clean pleasant finish. This Blonde Ale is best enjoyed after trail running, ultimate frisbee, and beach volleyball. Also pairs well with a solid game of bocce ball or washer toss.”
Night ‘Bous Porter
“This Robust Porter is full of bright chocolatey flavours within a medium sweet body that finishes rich in malt dryness. Big, bold, and balanced. This beer is best enjoyed after cold water surfing, camping, and after a tournament of Kan Jam. Also enjoyed with a game of Tetris on a rainy day.”
Really great beer experience. Great spot. Glad to see that craft beer is spreading in Newfoundland.
My husband and I are from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and enjoyed hiking and whale watching in East Trinity before stopping into this Port Rexton gem for a pint of beer.
Any word if you can do growler refills in St. John’s in the future?
It’ll be hard to be a repeat customer otherwise having to go there.