All of QV’s products are brewed at its modern facility in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This plant is presently capable of producing large volumes and a variety of products with additional space and capabilities for expansion. The facility is capable of packaging commercial kegs, 6, 12, and 24 box cartons.
The first step in the brewing process is to ‘grind’ the malt, a short term for malted barley. Many beers are brewed with a combination of malt and/or corn or rice (adjuncts). All Quidi Vidi beers are brewed with water, malt, hops and yeast.
The malt is ground at the brewery’s mill. Brew master Roy Ralph estimates the mill can grind up to 1/2 ton in 20 minutes.
Ralph has been brewing for almost 40 years. He has worked for breweries in Saskatoon, Vancouver, Waterloo, Toronto, and Montreal, including Molson’s and the former Carling O’Keefe brewery in St. John’s. He currently oversees all brewing operations at Quidi Vidi Brewing Company, and the work of two brewers, Mike and Edward.
Four types of malt are used: Two-Row Pale, Crystal, Carastan, and Munich. The type of malt and the amount used determines the resulting strength, color, and flavor of the finished beer. The 1892 Traditional Ale, for example, uses a high percentage of dark malt.
Once the malt is ground, it is transferred to the ‘lautertun’ or ‘mashtun’ where it is mixed with water and ‘mashed’. Mashing is essentially the act of mixing malt with water to produce ‘wort’, a sugar-rich liquid.
Upon completion of the mash, the wort is drained off and the malt is rinsed with hot water to extract as much sugar as possible. The wort is then transferred to the brewery’s stainless steel kettle, where it is boiled.
The boil takes two to three hours, during which the hops are added. The hops are a natural preservative which also adds flavor and the bitterness to beer.
After the boil, the liquid is transferred to the fermentation tanks. At that time, brewers yeast is added and fermentation begins.
Once the fermentation stage is completed, the beer is aged for a minimum of fourteen days. Then the beer is filtered into a bottling tank, where it is then put into kegs and bottles.