Newfoundland Brewery Tour: Bannerman Brewing Co., St. John's, NL
Newfoundland has another craft brewery to add to the list, this time in downtown St. John’s. Bannerman Brewing Co. is located right on the corner of Duckworth Street and opened on May 11. Currently offering six beers on tap, with more in the pipe, Bannerman also has a small kitchen that offers unique creations by Chef Amy Anthony, as well as an upstairs event space for throwing community events, shows, lectures, art exhibits, and yoga pop-ups.
“Our brewery name is a nod to Bannerman Park and the great fire. Bannerman Brewing Co. was the location of the city’s historic East Fire Station,” Phil Maloney, one of Bannerman’s owners told The Racket via email. The station was originally constructed after the Great Fire of 1892, the building was rebuilt in the 1950s. “During the Great Fire, some 11,000 people lost their homes. Displaced, but not defeated, residents banded together with nothing more than a few belongings to set up a tent city in Bannerman Park. They weathered the aftermath of the fire and re-built the city. It's this story of collectivism and community that we proudly celebrate,” he said.
This sense of collectivism and community was also felt during the process of getting the brewery open. Maloney said Bannerman was plagued with municipal, provincial and construction delays, as well as equipment issues. “Throughout it all the brewing community both locally and nationally has had our collective backs along the way,” he said. “It’s an incredibly supportive group and I’m super proud to be amongst them.”
Bannerman Brewing Co. is quite different from the other breweries in the province. They are offering handmade, fresh food in house with full table service as opposed to bar service and a café. Customers can take a seat at a communal table in the warm and inviting space of the taproom and are free to wander and mingle while having food and drink brought to your table.
Bannerman Brewing Co.’s brewmaster Dave Bridger also communicated with The Racket via email about what influences his brewing. “I like to try and keep on top of what's happening in the industry and what different things people are experimenting with,” he said. “I also am a big fan of traditional German lagers and I like to keep things clean and drinkable,” Bridger said that he personally is a fan of a crisp pilsner or helles, but also enjoys brett saisons which could give an indication of what Bannerman may be brewing in the future. “In the coming months, we'll stick with similar sorts of things we have now [which are a] combo of hop forward beers and lagers to keep up with the summer rush.” Bridger noted that they’ll start making darker beers for the fall and eventually he would like to get into experimenting with wild beers and barrel aging.
Bannerman Brewing Co. is also in the process of getting the deck at the front of their building fully licensed. “I really can’t wait to open up that big overhead door and have a beer on the deck. It’s south facing and gets sun most of the day which is a huge plus,” said Maloney. There are also plans to collaborate on a brew with both Landwash Brewery and 2 Crows Brewing in Halifax.
Maloney said the response from the general public and craft beer enthusiasts has been fantastic since Bannerman Brewing Co. opened. “I’m incredibly honoured that people are enjoying the space and the beer, and we’ve received a lot of positive comments from just about everyone that’s been through,” he said. “There’s still a few tweaks we’ll need to make but we’re constantly striving to be better.”
The Racket’s Recommendations : Sparks of Joy Saison, Thirst Trap Pale Ale
***As with the nature of breweries and small batches, these brews may not always be on tap.***