Dildo Brew­ing Com­pany wel­comes Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion to the craft beer age

New busi­ness gives new life to lo­cal museum and an­other rea­son for tourists to visit the com­mu­nity

The Compass - - Classified - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Dildo has been a pop­u­lar tourist spot for decades, with many vis­i­tors de­ter­mined to get a shot of them­selves stand­ing next to a sign bear­ing the town’s name.

But now there’s an­other rea­son for tourists to swing by the Trin­ity South com­mu­nity. With the craft beer scene ex­plod­ing across Canada over the last decade, the Dildo Brew­ing Com­pany and Museum finds it­self in the en­vi­able po­si­tion of be­ing the first brew­ery to open in the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion area within that time frame. Lo­cated along the shore with a full view of the har­bour, the busi­ness of­fi­cially opened its doors to the pub­lic last Thurs­day, June 28.

The brew­ery was the brain­child of a brother and sis­ter (Angie Reid and Roger George) and their part­ners (Rob Reid and Deb­bie George).

“Be­tween the four of them, I love the way they work,” brewer Lionel Ro­drigues told The Com­pass. “They all have dif­fer­ent skills and fo­cuses, but be­tween them they talk ev­ery­thing out and they come up with very good an­swers to just about any ques­tion. So be­ing part of a co­he­sive team is re­ally en­cour­ag­ing.”

The two-storey space has a tap room and kitchen up­stairs and a museum be­low it. The So­ci­ety of United Fish­er­men Lodge 84 looked after the museum for decades. When the group de­cided it could no longer look after the space, the team be­hind the brew­ery got in­volved. The re­vamped museum in­cludes a va­ri­ety of ar­ti­facts and old trin­kets that help tell sto­ries about the lo­cal in­dige­nous peo­ple, the fish­ery and how New­found­lan­ders lived in the days be­fore mod­ern con­ve­niences.

“That cre­ates a lot of lo­cal pride, be­cause a lot of lo­cals here have do­nated items to the museum, so they’re still able to come by, see what they do­nated there or their fa­thers, moth­ers, grand­fa­thers and grand­moth­ers do­nated and take pride in the place,” Ro­drigues said.

The brew­ery cur­rently has four flag­ship beers on tap — a red ale in­fused with lo­cal beets, IPA, stout and blonde. Ro­drigues is also part of the fam­ily re­spon­si­ble for Ro­drigues Win­ery in Whit­bourne. Prior to get­ting into the brew­ing busi­ness pro­fes­sion­ally, he got some use­ful in­struc­tional time with a va­ri­ety of craft beer mak­ers, in­clud­ing Yel­low­Belly brew­mas­ter Liam McKenna and Greg Nash from Un­fil­tered Brew­ing in Hal­i­fax.

“There’s a lot of sup­port in this in­dus­try, and that’s what makes it re­ally fun,” he said.

The 10-bar­rel sys­tem al­lows Dildo Brew­ing to pro­duce upwards of 7,000 litres ev­ery two weeks. In ad­di­tion to the flag­ship beers, the brew­ery plans to in­tro­duce other va­ri­eties over time, such as a blue­berry blonde ale fea­tur­ing berries sourced from Bev Walsh’s farm in Avon­dale.

“The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less,” he said. “My main goal is to nail down the four base recipes first, and once I can copy those and make them repli­ca­ble, I’m go­ing to start to look at other sea­son­als. And the way we want to do sea­son­als is based on what’s avail­able lo­cally. We want to use a lot of lo­cal prod­ucts and pro­duce.”

The in­ter­est in New­found­land in­gre­di­ents also ex­tends to other New­found­land brew­eries. Ro­drigues said the Dildo Brew­ing Com­pany plans to fea­ture the work of fel­low craft beer mak­ers on a guest tap.

There’s a lot of sup­port in this in­dus­try, and that’s what makes it re­ally fun. — Lionel Ro­drigues

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Sis­ter-in-laws Angie Reid, left, and Deb­bie George are two of the four own­ers of the Dildo Brew­ing Com­pany and Museum, which opened to the pub­lic on Thurs­day, June 28.

Lionel Ro­drigues is the brewer in Dildo.

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