Port Rexton Brewing, Newfoundland

The dam of craft beer in Newfoundland is about to be tapped. When I left home six years ago, there wasn’t much of a scene here. Besides mass produced beers like India and Dominion (made by Molson) or Quidi Vidi’s small selection, there wasn’t much happening. Storm Brewing opened in 1995 but I’d tried it once and hated it, Yellow Belly Brewery was just getting underway and my taste for local beer was nominal.

Then I moved to Halifax. The craft beer scene has erupted like a beer keg in the past few years. From working at a bar to blogging about beer festivals I dived into a never-ending glass of suds. It was impossible to avoid — there are more than 16 craft breweries in Halifax alone. Now I’m back in Newfoundland with a taste for IPA and my Haligonian friends are jealous I went to opening weekend at Port Rexton Brewing. There are five more breweries opening across Newfoundland soon, so stay tuned for the brewery explosion.

Adam and I have been home in Newfoundland about a week. A week too long to not have visited Port Rexton Brewing, and we had the perfect sunny day for a road trip. It’s May and there were still spots of snow along the way but the road was clear for the three-hour Instagrammable drive. The brewery is not hard to find: coming over the hill into Port Rexton, the white building and large signage are easily spotted.

PortRextonBrewery.Exterior

Sampling the goods

Port Rexton Brewing was opened in 2016 by co-owners Alicia MacDonald and Sonja Mills to an eager beer-drinking crowd. The place was packed when we arrived 30 minutes after the taproom opened on Saturday afternoon. To start, we sampled four different brews (the taproom typically has eight lines flowing). From left to right pictured below: Chasing Sun New England IPA (ABV 5.8%, IBU 45), Clear as Mud Dunkelweisen collaboration with Mill Street (ABV 5.2%, IBU 22), Mixed Opportunity Saison (ABV 6.5%, IBU 23) and Horse Chops IPA (ABV 6.3%, IBU 72). They were all freaking delicious. I was immediately impressed.

Adam was driving so I has another glass of Chasing Sun, my favourite of the day. With hints of citrus, this hazy brew was the perfect mix of IPA and saison for my ideal summer beer. There are two sizes of suds at Port Rexton Brewing: the 500ml Mason jar, or the 250ml Mason jar. In any other place I would have rolled my eyes at the Mason jar, but in outport Newfoundland it works. Like Nan brought them over from her root cellar for the girls to use in their new endeavour.

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Port Rexton Brewery Collage

PortRextonBrewery.Gabby in Taproom

Oh my cheeses, that’s deadly

Who doesn’t love grilled cheese and a pint? Oh My Cheeses was set up inside the taproom for opening weekend at Port Rexton Brewing. This punny grilled cheese company can be found regularly at St. John’s Farmers Market and other events across the province with sammies like Saucy Brudder with 5 Brothers Secret Gallows, Sriracha mayo, bacon and carmelized onion, or the Kevin McCallister plain grilled cheese. Hello Partridgeberry and Brie grilled cheese — I could eat you everyday.

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The bright, sunny taproom overlooks the brewery equipment and bright artwork pairs well with cherry red chairs and stools. Our loot bag for the visit was a growler of Horse Chops IPA to enjoy in our new home when we move this weekend, but I have a feeling I’ll be back often. I already feel at home.

Port Rexton Brewing Taproom

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12 thoughts on “Port Rexton Brewing, Newfoundland”

  • Not many venture up there but we totally should! Looks incredible and heard so much good about it. My dad loves to bring people do the tour by the Quebec North Shore passing through Labrador and taking the Ferry to Newfoundland and then going back by the south shore of the St-Lawrence. He always talk about the people who lives there as the nicest and would love to come see that for myself plus visit this brewery and all the goodies you suggest on your blog! Funny how we see our “old life” in a different light after being abroad, we become more appreciative and see those details we couldn’t before. Even the tastebuds change to like you love of IPA. Same for me, used to dislike IPA and now I’m the biggest fan! GReat post, I really want to visit someday but for now I’ll get as much info as I could with you blog in order to be fully ready when I get there;)

  • Port Rexton Brewing looks like a lot of fun! And so great that there’s a local craft brewing place in town. I visited Newfoundland for the first time in November with my husband, and we both loved it. We stayed in St.John’s and had an awesome time! Everyone was really so friendly and we ate some great food, too – my favourite might’ve been brunch at Mallard Cottage! Grilled cheese and beer is pretty much a divine combo, too… 🙂

  • I’m totally in love with the idea your drinks were served in mason jars. I kinda have a thing for them. ha!
    Sounds like you had a lovely time! I could probably eat that Partridgeberry and Brie grilled cheese sandwich every day too. omg looks so good.

  • I just came across your blog, I am from Newfoundland as well. Getting to check out Port Rexton is on my summer bucket list this year! I have tried one of their beers at EVOO and loved it! 🙂

    Heidi || The Wanderlust Home Blog

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