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West coast craft beer creators believe quality product will keep them engaged in the game

Jason Hynes and Sheila Dwyer, owner-operators of Secret Cove Brewery in Port au Port East, pose for a photo in their building they plan to have opened to the public before Christmas.
Jason Hynes and Sheila Dwyer, owner-operators of Secret Cove Brewery in Port au Port East, pose for a photo in their building they plan to have opened to the public before Christmas. - Frank Gale

Craft beer creators know quality is key when it comes to those with a thirst for their product and they’re are ready to tap into the market even when more and more people are getting into the game.

Jason Hynes and his wife Sheila Dwyer are the owners of Secret Cove Brewery in Port au Port East, the 13th microbrewery to open in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Brake
Brake

Using a bio-chemistry background to help him brew quality beer, Hynes has been working full-time for two years in an effort to create a quality product and introduce people to a new market in the Bay St. George area.

While there are a number of craft beer operators just getting into the game, there appears to be growth on the horizon with at least nine more businesses expected to be open in the near future.

Hynes is excited about getting involved in the business early in the game at home. He said Newfoundland and Labrador is just catching the buzz after many parts of Canada and countries around the world have been serving up tasty suds for years now.

He’s in no way worried about the market being saturated. He believes people have different tastes and love to try new beers so he expects to attract his own clientele.

Being involved in a business on the cusp of more growth is something he looks forward to because of the time he has invested, but he knows the only way to stay in the game is by having a product that consumers really enjoy.

He considers craft beer drinks smart people and they like a good product so it’s up to him to deliver and he believes there is one thing that will guarantee it.

“Just turning out a good quality product. There’s no room for sub-par beer,” he said.

Only a few months in, the response has been really positive so he figures his 108-people capacity tap room will be a busy place.

He is ready to provide a fix for those with a curious mind.

Things are also looking promising at Crooked Feeder Brewing Company in Cormack where Ray Brake is one of the co-owners of micro-brewery opened back in November.

Brake said they knew they had a good product to offer and they wouldn’t have considered being in the business if he they didn’t, but he’s excited to see that the response has been more positive than they had anticipated.

He believes the business offers a lot of promise and people appear to love the brand. He said a lot of time and effort has been put into making sure the company had a logo that resonated with the people and the province.

But, of course, he knows that the success of the business depends heavily on providing a product that appeals to the taste buds of craft beer lovers so there are eight styles for people to choose from so they can have variety.

Brake said giving people a choice of quality beers is how he sees himself surviving in the business. He said it’s easy to get a person to try the beer once because most people who love beer are curious and like to try new ones, but does it translate to repeat business is the big question.

“You could have the best marketing and you could have deepest pockets, but if you don’t have great quality beer that people are going to try and they’re going to love you’re not going to achieve long-term success,” he said.

The Newfoundland Craft Beer Festival will give thirsty minds a chance to experience much of what the west coast scene has to offer. It is scheduled for Apr. 6 at the Corner Brook Civic Centre.

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