Bac­calieu Trail Brew­ing al­most ready to open

Bay Roberts lo­ca­tion ready to serve beer this fall

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The first craft brew­ery to de­scend on Con­cep­tion Bay North since the in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­enced a ma­jor boom over the past decade is al­most ready to open. The Com­pass re­cently met with a co-founder of the Bac­calieu Trail Brew­ing Com­pany to get the scoop.

Mark Burry and Ju­lian Kean used to be sat­is­fied with sim­ply brew­ing beer in their homes.

“It started ini­tially as a way to save money. In­stead of buy­ing beer every week­end, you’d brew up a batch,” Burry ad­mit­ted dur­ing a chat with The Com­pass in the con­fines of his soon-toopen brew­ery in Bay Roberts.

“But it got re­ally in­ter­est­ing when we started see­ing craft beer come on to the shelves here in New­found­land.”

The Glover­town na­tives (Burry and Kean are also third­cousins) grew more ad­ven­tur­ous with they’re brew­ing. Beer was a fre­quent topic of con­ver­sa­tion for the pair, who both lived in St. John’s. The fact so many new brew­eries were pop­ping up across New­found­land didn’t go un­no­ticed. They started brain­storm­ing on ar­eas of the is­land with a solid pop­u­la­tion base that didn’t al­ready have a mi­cro­brew­ery es­tab­lished.

“And that’s kind of how we found this place,” said Burry, who worked as an en­gi­neer be­fore pur­su­ing this busi­ness. “We ended up buy­ing this build­ing and ev­ery­thing started to come to­gether.”

And with that, the Bac­calieu Trail Brew­ing Com­pany was born. Lo­cated on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way on the very edge of Bay Roberts’ mu­nic­i­pal bor­der with Spaniard’s Bay, the brew­ery ex­pects to open be­fore the end of this fall. It will be the first mi­cro­brew­ery to open in Con­cep­tion Bay North since the Fresh­wa­ter Brew­ing Com­pany es­tab­lished it­self 23 years ago in Car­bon­ear (it was re­named Storm Brew­ing and later moved to Mount Pearl).

Burry, who has since moved to the area, has an in­ter­est in the Con­cep­tion Bay North’s his­tory and in­tends to hon­our it through the names of beer brewed on­site. For starters, Bac­calieu Trail Brew­ing will of­fer four styles — a New Eng­land IPA (known for its juici­ness and hazy ap­pear­ance), a blonde ale, a porter and an English bit­ter.

“We had recipes where we kind of worked out all the kinks and that we re­ally liked, and we said, ‘This is what we re­ally want our beer to taste like. Let’s see if we can re­pro­duce that on the big sys­tem.”

So far, Burry and Kean are get­ting the re­sults they hoped for. The first batch of the blonde ale had to be tossed, but ev­ery­thing brewed since has tasted as it should.

“It’s kind of like bak­ing. You can take a muf­fin recipe, scale it up, and it won’t nec­es­sar­ily make a good cake recipe,” Burry ex­plained. “It’s the same with this, be­cause it’s all malt and grains and a bunch of dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents com­ing to­gether. But now I think we have the kinks ironed out.”

Since start­ing out, Burry and Kean have re­ceived con­sid­er­able sup­port from fel­low brew­ers en­gaged in the prov­ince’s craft beer in­dus­try, in­clud­ing folks from the Port Rex­ton Brew­ery, Mill Street in St. John’s and the Dildo Brew­ing Com­pany, the lat­ter of whom only opened this sum­mer.

“I’ve got to say, the whole com­mu­nity of craft brew­ers has been re­ally help­ful,” he said.

Ren­o­va­tions to the build­ing were ex­ten­sive, with win­dows added around the back to show off the beauty of the neigh­bour­ing wet­lands, where birds com­monly frolic. Work on the brew­ery side is pretty much com­plete, with all the in­dus­trial equip­ment in use for pro­duc­ing beer. Once the food es­tab­lish­ment li­cense is in place (there are sinks and other items to in­stall for that), they’ll move on to the liquor li­cense.

“Even if the tap­room is not fin­ished, I’m think­ing we’ll be able to sell (1.9-litre re­fill­able) growlers — be­cause they’re pack­aged and ready to go — while we’re fin­ish­ing up (the tap­room),” Burry said.

Burry is stoked to be so close to the fin­ish line for open­ing.

“This is re­ally ex­cit­ing for us,” Burry said, adding he hopes the busi­ness can be­come a space for the com­mu­nity.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

Mark Burry, co-owner of the Bac­calieu Trail Brew­ing Com­pany along with busi­ness part­ner Ju­lian Kean, is pleased to be open­ing the first brew­ery in Con­cep­tion Bay North since craft beer fever hit New­found­land and Labrador.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

It took some learn­ing for the brew­ers to ad­just to pro­duc­ing beer on a larger scale with in­dus­trial-strength equip­ment.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

The Bac­calieu Trail Brew­ing Com­pany will start out with four beer of­fer­ings — a New Eng­land IPA, a blonde ale, a dark porter and an English bit­ter.

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