Newfoundland – Tropical Craft Beer Paradise

Posted: February 16, 2014 in Beer Drinking Adventures, Rambing on about nothing in particular
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So I was able to draw some contract work in the lovely and tropical isle of Newfoundland last week. Yes, I say tropical because aren’t all islands usually tropical??? Seriously, although the temperatures didn’t represent the tropical island that I was speaking of but it did have the same temperature effect as Newfoundland is more of a craft beer desert. Let me explain my craft beer experiences while there…

(End Scene)

…and that pretty much explained it in a nutshell.

Newfoundland only has three craft beer breweries and all of them are based out of St Johns (which is in the Southeast corner of the island) and unfortunately for me, the closest that I got was about 300 Kilometers to St Johns. My first nights stay was all the way up in the St Anthony but I didn’t arrive until 8pm and the entire town was completely shut down by then (literally). The second and third nights were spent down in Deer Lake and the best I could find was a bar with zero patrons, one tap (Bud Light)(which was kicked), and had all of the Budweiser, Labatt and Molson products that I could enjoy. I did use this opportunity to drink a couple of beers that were made for Newfoundland and Labrador only which were Molson Black Horse and Labatt Blue Star. Both beers were similar to Molson Golden and Labatt Blue respectively but slightly sweeter and watered down. Thank God I was smart enough to pack my bag with enough bottles and cans to keep my company while on my trip. Newfoundland = Bring Beer With You.

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My Travel Map (1400+ miles in 4 days)

On a side note, anything north of Deer Lake (Location E) is mostly mountains and national park area.  There is only one road that goes north up to St Anthony (Location C).  It is a two land road that runs through about 50 miles of heavy mountain driving then runs along the coast of the Labrador Sea for the remainder of 300+miles.   Along the way, there are about 5-6 random fishing villages which contained about 25-40 houses, a gas station and a snowmobile dealer.

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This sign was posted every 2 KM

Yes, I did see a Moose.  He was roughly about 8-9 feet tall, crossed the road ahead of me about 100 yards and when I slowed down to take a picture of him, he belted out at me and start moving towards the car….needless to say, I didn’t want to have to explain to the rental car company why the side of my car had dents in it.

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Nasty Snow Storm next to the Labrador Sea (notice no guard rails)

After I finished my last dealer on Tuesday, I had a 280 mile drive back down Route 430 (Viking Trail) and caught a nasty snowstorm which led to whiteout conditions, which isn’t safe when driving down a slick road with no guard rails right next to the Labrador Sea.  On the picture above was a familiar sight for most of the way…slide off this road and you got about ten foot cushion before you plunge into the sea.  The weather that day was the worst as it was -10F for most of the day with 20-30mph winds blowing.

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Random Scenery Picture

If you notice that there aren’t any tall trees, then you would be correct.  The northern peninsula gets an extremely high amount of wind and most the trees once they get to a certain height just fall over.

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Mountains in the Northern Pennisula

The speed limit along the Viking Trail was 90 kilometers per hour (which roughly translates to 53-54 MPH) but since there is zero police presence in the northern peninsula, it was more of a recommendation than a limit.

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One of about 6 random fishing villages in the Northern Pennisula

This was just a random fishing village…and yes, that is the entire village in one picture.  Those people are hardened as fuck, in my opinion.  The natives of Newfoundland all speak with a mixed accent of Norwegian and Thick Irish but with a Canadian dialect.  It was pretty hard to cut through if you weren’t used to it…and the accent was even thicker in the northern peninsula.  For anyone that watches the show Gold Rush, it was like dealing with a bunch of Tony Beekes for the entire week.

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