Crooked Feeder Beer Flows into Corner Brook with their Gastropub
Earlier this year we covered Crooked Feeder Brewing Co. as part of our Newfoundland brewery tour series. At the time, the brewery had not opened a taproom yet and was hoping to have it ready by summer. Co-owner Ray Brake told The Racket, “It was important for us to focus on the brewhouse first so we could build it more suitable for our startup. We had limited brew days so we wanted to maximize our production per brew. This allowed us to get our craft beer to market, helping to build our brand during the tourism slow season and generate cash flow we could put towards completing the taproom.”
Then Crooked Feeder went and did something that no other craft brewery has done in the province. While YellowBelly, Dildo, and Bannerman serve food in-house, the Cormack brewery set their sights on the city of Corner Brook to open the Crooked Feeder Gastropub in June.
“We recognized the importance of being situated in a populated region, preferably close to our brewery, so Corner Brook was always in our crosshairs,” said Brake via email. “We wanted to establish our brand in this market.”
The idea of a gastropub was not on the radar the last time we spoke to Brake, but there had always been plans to expand into Corner Brook. The stars would align though and Crooked Feeder found a great location (the former Gitanos’ located in the Millbrook Mall) and an owner who was willing to work with the brewery to ensure as hassle-free a transition as possible.
Chef Brittney Ellsworth was brought in and given the autonomy to develop the gastropub’s menu. “We heard so many great things about Brittney so we approached her with our plans to open a gastropub and told her we wanted her to be our chef,” said Brake. “She liked what we were doing and agreed to join our team. We couldn't be happier to have her join us. She is a force to be reckoned with for sure.”
According to Brake, Crooked Feeder Gastropub’s menu is constantly being worked on. “We are taking things on at our own pace, realizing that we are not a restaurant. We are a pub that provides 100% local craft beer offerings (along with wines and spirits) that also has a kitchen to provide great tasting mains and apps.”
Some of Crooked Feeder’s beers are used in the recipes to create unique menu items at the gastropub like their Rideout Red honey mustard, White River Wit vinaigrette, and avocado IPA dressing. “These were all Britt’s idea,” said Brake. “She took control right from the beginning. Britt wanted us to provide her with samples of all the beers we made so she could try them and formulate a game plan of what beer styles would work effectively for her dishes. We could not be happier with what she has put together for the pub.”
When we visited in August, The Crooked Feeder Gastropub boasted a very impressive lineup of beers including their Deer Lake Power Sour and Gros Morne Coffee Porter which have been so popular, they have been incorporated into Crooked Feeder’s main beer lineup.
“We have an impressive lineup because we love making great tasting craft beer,” said Brake. “We'd love to have more taps in fact.”
The gastropub also offers beer options from other local craft breweries including Quidi Vidi, Mill Street, and Corner Brook neighbour Bootleg as well as kombucha from the St. John’s Fermentary. “We did this because that's what all the breweries seem to do in the province,” said Brake. “We have a great thing going here [in the craft beer industry]. We actually reached out to every brewery in the province before opening to offer them a guest tap. All appreciated the offer but had trouble keeping up with the demand themselves. That offer still stands though.”
The Crooked Feeder Gastropub will be holding their grand opening on October 4, 2019, and Brake said the whole team is excited. “As we move forward you can expect more hours of service, and a lunch/brunch service,” he said. He also promised more live local entertainment and said they have performances booked at least twice a week up until the Christmas season and some shows already set for 2020.
“That said, we love the east coast talent too so drop us a line if you are interested in playing a gig at our pub.”