If you’re a beer-loving townie, dying to try beers from all the bay-based breweries popping up lately, pop on into the taproom at Jack Axes on Water Street. In addition to established local favourites like Port Rexton Brewing, Yellowbelly, and Quidi Vidi Brewery, they’re now serving beers from Gander (Scudrunner Brewing), the west Coast (Western NL Brewing Company) and Twillingate (Split Rock Brewery).
You can even enjoy a feed from their downstairs neighbours, Bad Bones Ramen, while you’re at it. If you haven’t heard of Jack Axes, it’s exactly what it sounds like — darts, but with axes. You throw axes at the equivalent of a dartboard, and it’s exactly as fun as it sounds.
And no, you needn’t sign up to throw axes if you just want to pop in for a beer sometime. It’s a nice quiet tap room to meet a pal for a pint and a gab. “We are ok with people coming just for the bar,” says Adrian Beaton. “We really want to build a community and create a space for like-minded people to feel comfortable hanging out and exchanging ideas.”
Their ultimate goal is to have 14 local beers on tap, and others available in cans/bottles, so they can legitimately call themselves St. John’s first all-local tap room. They’re well on their way for their February deadline. They’ve also got Third Place Cocktail Co’s raddler mix on hand, to turn their light lagers into rad raddlers.
To celebrate their new tap room plans, they’re doing $5 pints of Quidi Vidi, $6 pints of everythign else, and $7 flights of beer, “ALLLLL FEBREWARY,” as well as some tasting events next month.
“Our goal is to carry every craft brewery in the province,” Beaton says, adding that they plan to add beers by new breweries as they pop up in 2018 (like the ones set to launch in Dildo, Port-au-Port, Petty Harbour, and Bootleg Brewing out of Corner Brook).
Beaton says that it will be a rotating tap style. If you want to know what they have on tap week to week, you can leave them your email address. “We want to expose people to different beers constantly,” he says. Beaton’s own personal favourite changes on a regular basis, he says, while quickly offering up Quidi Vidi’s 1892 and Port Rexton’s Blazing Sun as go-tos.
Their motivation to become St. John’s first all local tap room stems from a desire to be community builders, Beaton says.
“We have been in operation for a year and a half now. We have always loved local craft beers, charities, art, etc. We naturally attracted people in these realms. So we decided to own it. We are no longer satisfied building a business, we want to build a community. In our words, a community of cultured badasses.”
He defines a cultured badass as “someone who supports and gives back to the community, appreciates good beer and cool art, and isn’t afraid to be themselves. So we fully embraced our love of local beers. We’ve started our own charity initiative called Random Axe of Kindness (headed by none other than Hasan Hai of project kindness and the Merby’s calander), and were embracing the art community as well by having some amazing graffiti artists decorate our entrance way.”
Also on the agenda at Jack Axes this winter: “An event where we will bring in a tattoo business to do some cool tats on those who want them. Hoping to make this semi regular.”