Newfoundland Brewery Tour: Ninepenny Brewing, Conception Bay South, NL
Apologies for being a bit behind on the latest additions to our Newfoundland Brewery Tour, we promise, this will be rectified soon!
We actually got out to Ninepenny at the beginning of March, shortly after they opened. The brewery, located in Manuals just past the Manuals River is situated across from both a Tweed and a Mary Brown’s is owned by four friends, Glenn Bartlett, Keith Bartlett, Justin Mayo, and Dwayne Moores.
“We are four friends who decided to make the leap into opening a microbrewery, after years of home brewing,” Keith Bartlett told The Racket via email. “We had independently decided that we wanted to turn our passion into a reality, and after deliberating for some time we came together over the Easter weekend in 2017 to really pull the business plan together as a group of four.”
Bartlett said that opening a brewery requires a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. “We couldn’t have made it happen without both the drive and passion to make it happen, as well as the support of family, friends and the growing craft brewing industry,” he said. “We are all fairly young, some of us had not even hit 30 when we first started planning, so a big part was market research and developing a business plan and sourcing funding.”
A lot of work seems to have gone into planning the name for this brewery. “We wanted to give a nod to the unique area of CBS and its communities, especially since we were welcomed with open arms into the community. The Nine in Ninepenny refers to just that, the nine communities that make up Conception Bay South,” said Bartlett. Acknowledging our heritage as a British colony, the “penny” part of the name references an old English tax rate back to being charged by the penny. “You would go out for a round of threepenny, or sixpenny, or Ninepenny.” With that in mind, the brewery’s design scheme also involves a lot of exposed piping, mostly made of copper which pays homage to the old Canadian penny.
As mentioned, Ninepenny opened in late February and focuses on older English and European styles of beer, which Bartlett believes sets them apart from other breweries in the province. One such style is their White IPA, which hasn’t really been tried much locally, which is a cross between a Belgian Wit and an IPA.
“The White IPA is probably what got us into opening a brewery in the first place. At the very least it was one more catalyst, just when we needed it!” said Bartlett. “When we were still homebrewing a version of our White IPA was entered into a homebrewing competition, and received such great feedback it made making the leap to commercial brewing feel like it could be a reality.”
Ninepenny uses two house yeasts, the Foggy London and Ardennes strains from Escarpment which Bartlett said are both versatile enough to delve into more modern styles, such as a New England IPA, and a Witbier which rolled out a few weeks after opening and added tasty and flavourful additions to their lineup.
Bartlett also spoke to the amount of collaboration between the breweries across the province. “We wouldn’t have made it this far without help from the local microbrewery community, especially Alicia and Sonja of Port Rexton Brewing who have been helping us since that Easter weekend of 2017,” he said. “Chris and Christina from Landwash Brewery who we’ve been speaking to on a nearly daily basis - and they still always take our calls! There are so many others that we couldn’t do justice to everyone here, but suffice to say that we have a very supportive, vibrant craft beer community in Atlantic Canada that have really helped us along the way.”
He also noted that Ninepenny has been chatting with other breweries and are hoping to announce some collaborations soon. The brewery has also been hosting local food trucks on their parking lot like Poko Loko and Krave Licensed To Grill (as if Tweed and Mary Brown’s weren’t enough already).
Since Ninepenny opened, Bartlett said they have been “blown away” by the support from the residents in CBS as well as the local craft beer community. “It has been very humbling to be receiving positive feedback on a product that we are so passionate about.”
In the coming months, Ninepenny plans to expand into bottling and canning while still filling growlers and grunters on-site. They are also on tap at restaurants and taprooms on the Avalon Peninsula and try to keep their tap list up to date on their social media accounts.
The Racket’s Recommendations for a Flight: New England IPA, Witbier, Red Ale, and White IPA.
***As with the nature of breweries and small batches, these brews may not always be on tap.***