Boomstick Brewing Company is the latest brewery to celebrate their opening in our region! Located at 55 West Street in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Boomstick shares space with the soon-to-open Hew & Draw Hotel and Best Coast restaurant. With the Shop open now, and the brewery taproom opening this coming Sunday, March 1st, we were able to catch up with the crew to learn more about them, the brewery, and what can be expected in the soon-to-open taproom and in the glasses therein.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Our team starts with the third generation of a logging family and a strict discipline to do things right. We searched internationally to bring in talent and experience to give our customers the best possible experience. Our founder started with the desire to serve Corner Brook with a stunning architectural contribution by overhauling a classic building on West Street. Our Director of Operations began her management career here in Newfoundland and then advanced in Alberta before returning home. Our Brewmaster got his start at a tiny microbrewery in the States called Samuel Adams. All parts of the team are here to make and deliver the best styles of craft beer from around the world. We’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy every piece of it.
How did you get into the world of beer?
The logging world can be pretty rough at times and most days are good when you’re just a little behind. However, beer makes everyone happy! And a brewery is a social center of a community. As we want to build our community and help Western Newfoundland we thought a brewery might just work.
What made you decide to take the big steps into opening a brewery?
Boomstick Brewing Co. began with a vision of bringing craft beer and a social epicenter to Western Newfoundland back in 2014ish. Researching the industry and experiencing the market’s brewing scene really made this idea come to life. Add in a trip to the Siebel Institute in Chicago to fill our brains with beer ideas and we were set. We want to do it right and serve our town by bringing the best of craft from around the world to Western Newfoundland.
What is the culture of Boomstick Brewing?
We take the quality of beer and our guests’ experiences seriously. Everything else is up for fun. As we build this brand we aim to have everyone on the team be as passionate about beer and the customer as we are. And we’re excited to see what things we’ll learn from the team we build.
Now we’re getting thirsty! Tell us about your beers!
We’ve got some serious talent on the team so we’re planning to flex that muscle early and often. Our Brewmaster Mike Wayne has done over 200 styles in his career and we’re looking to do the best of those here. We’re starting with Penstock No. 2 as our classic American Pale Ale. Wild Bologna is our IPA and we think you’ll be amazed by the hops in this beer. Veto Power is our classic Pilsner and this is how we educate all the macro consumers. Half Marathon is our Germanic Hefeweizen to start exploring styles. Bitter Bird is our take on an ESB and we think this English town will take to this great beer. Lone Flamingo tells the story of a Newfoundland hunter who learned about flamingos the hard way; it’s a bit fruity and a tad sour. The Webber is our black lager which harkens the urban legend of the Humber River.
How can we enjoy your beer? What are your plans for distribution?
The team here is proud to show off our cans! We work out. Cans and growlers are the best way to try our beer for the time being. However, we are opening up our taproom next weekend, starting March 1st, where visitors will then be able to enjoy a flight or pint. And this is a beauty of a taproom! Best Coast Cafe will be doing full menus for dinner and supper and the first test meals are so good that I’m actually eating vegetables! There will be live Music and we’re hoping to find an actual Oompah band for Oktoberfest… To add another bit – we have a chef whose approach to his menu is just as creative as our approach to beer, so we’re sure you’ll want to stay a while. Outside of that, we’re sure some kegs will sneak out to select accounts, eventually.
How about growlers?
We carry 64oz growlers and 32oz grunters available for purchase. We’ll gladly fill any brewery’s amber glassware with our beer as long as the glass is clean. We decline filling flint glass (clear) because the beer will be skunked by the time you reach your car. We want you to experience the best possible beer we brew and hope you understand our challenge with flint glass.
Do you have some initial accounts in the area lined up to serve your beers?
We’re blown away by the support of this town! We just listed our first jobs and we got FLOODED with responses! We’ve been approached by many places and we’ll try to make enough beer for everybody.
Have you had any assistance from other breweries/people in Atlantic Canada?
We’ve had HUGE help from around the industry! It’s nice to have friends around the beer world. Our neighbours down the street at Bootleg Brew Co. have been a huge help (including helping to brew some early test batches), and Picaroons gave indispensable advice and encouragement early on. The Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Brewers Association is helping out a ton and the network through Newfoundland, the Maritimes, the rest of Canada and internationally has been wonderful. We’re in a truly great industry!
Where do you hope to see your brewery in the next 2-3 years?
With a little luck we’ll still be on West St in Corner Brook Newfoundland.
Let’s get nerdy! What system are you be brewing on?
We’re using a 15bbl (1800 litre) DME steam system with a mash/kettle/whirl and a dedicated lauter. We’re starting with two 30bbl (3600 litre) fermenters and four 15bbl (1800 litre) fermenters. We’re using a Cask V5 to can our beers and Thielmann cooperage will hold our draught products.
Tell us about the history of your brewer, Mike Wayne (homebrewer and/or pro)?
We’d like to think we’re professionals around here. Our Brewmaster was pulled into the industry from studying Synthetic Organic Chemistry and was paid to taste Sam Adams. Somehow that turned into a career and now he applies his Chemistry knowledge to the study of Zymurgy. With experience in Cincinnati OH, Sarnia ON, Iqaluit NU, and now Corner Brook we’re excited to bring the best of craft brewing to Western Newfoundland.
Do you have a favorite beer style, beer, or brewery you enjoy drinking?
We only know two types of beer and we prefer the Good. With a little luck we’ll be mostly brewing in that style.
How about favourite style or ingredient to brew with?
Me, personally, I’m really into playing with spices. Hops are cool and I was running North America’s first Reinheitsgebot brewery at the 500th anniversary of the Bavarian Purity act; all which means …not much. The team here has lots of ideas and we taste ours as well as others beer in our meetings. One style I’m excited to bring here is a chai stout. Its inspiration is Sam Adams Cream Stout then combined with masala chai spicing. Earlier in my career, I did this as a porter and it just didn’t do the spices justice. The sweet stout is the better base and Newfoundland asks for stouts during summer!
Thanks to Mike and the rest of the Boomstick family for taking the time to answer our questions. The Growler Shop is open daily Sun – Thurs 4 – 8 PM, Fri & Sat 2 – 8 PM. When the taproom opens next Sunday, March 1st, its hours will be Sun – Thurs 12 – 10 PM, Fri & Sat 12 PM – 12 AM. Stay up to date with new releases, events, and all the goings on via their Social Media (Facebook and Instagram) and their website. And of course, here on the blog!