YellowBelly Brewery sits at the intersection of George Street and Water Street in downtown St. Johns, the oldest city in North America. It is now a part of St. John’s heritage and survived the Great St. John’s Fire of 1892. Hence, it’s one of Newfoundland’s Historic Site. There is a beam in the Underbelly that dates back 1700s.
Did you know? The brewery is called YellowBelly because of the irish immigrants in Newfoundland. The “Yellowbellies” were an Irish faction hailing from County Wexford who once famously tied strips of yellow cloth around their middles in a hurling match against the Cornish champions.
They brew their beers in the restaurant itself as it is both a Brewery and a Public House. You can do a brewery tour to get a better understanding of the beer brewing process. They have a list of their regular beers plus 1-2 seasonal beers every few weeks to a month, depending on demand or availability.
I got to try the YellowBelly Beer Sampler, which has 5 samples for $8.75.
From left to right then bottom:
1. Wexford Wheat – This is their lightest beer. The wheat lends a green apple/sour plum to the middle of the palate.
I’m a big fan of wheat beer since I prefer my beers less bitter. This was very light and highly refreshing. I can definitely drink the most pints with this.
2. YellowBelly Pale Ale – Full-bodied malt base counter balanced by a significant bitterness.
I’m generally not a big fan of IPA because of it’s bitterness, so this was my least favourite among the beer. However, the beer wasn’t a bitter as IPAs.
3. Fighting Irish Red Ale – Their most complex beer with its big and malty flavour and a very long finish.
A very flavourful beer. I really enjoyed this because of the distinct flavour it has, which is what I’ve come to enjoy on Red Ales. Funny thing is, it’s not that Red though!
4. St. John’s Stout – Traditional Irish Stout
This reminded me of Guiness a lot! However, I found it to be hoppier and less smooth than Guiness.
5. Tilt Cove Golden Nugget Ale – Seasonal Beer on May 16, 2016.
This was very full bodied and have a distinct flavour. It’s a Pale Ale so the bitterness still got into me.
For appetizers, we got the following:
1. Fresh Steamed Mussels (1 lb: $12, 2 lbs: $18) – with coconut milk, red curry and julienne vegetables
This was by far the best mussels I’ve had, even better than the ones I tried in Belgium. The mussels was so fresh, plump and juicy. And the coconut milk and red curry was just so good and went well with the mussels. The sauce was so good that we actually dipped our pizza crusts into it as well!
2. Catalan Calamari ($14) – crispy fried squid, lime chili aioli dip
Really loved this kind of calamari. Light but very crispy batter. These are the type of squid rings I prefer as well and loved that it included tentacles.
It’s very flavourful even without the dip. Highly addicting and goes well with the Wexford Wheat Beer.
YellowBelly’s Pizzas are wood fired rustic pizza. This is our pizza being made in the wood fire oven.
Fig-Proscuitto Arugula Pizza ($16) – rosemary olive oil, fig jam, 3 cheese blend, prosciutto, tossed arugula, shaved parmesan.
The dough was so good and it had a distinct taste due to the wood fire! So delicious! I’m very surprised to see this flavour of pizza in a brewery since it is something you’ll find in a gourmet restaurant. Lucky for me because this is one of my favorite pizza flavours!
For our dinner entrees, we got the following:
NOTE: We had specifically told them to remove the sides in the entrees since we were pretty full already and didn’t want them to go to waste.
1. St. John’s Stout Short Ribs ($27) – Braised short ribs, SJS gravy, sweet apricot and tomato, mashed potato, seasonal vegetables
I was so impressed with this short rib. It was melt-in-your mouth tender. The gravy was nice and light, so it didn’t overpower the beef but enhanced the flavour instead. Even when we had taken it to go, since we couldn’t finish it, it was still so tender after heating up in the microwave.
2. Pan-Seared Cod (Daily Entree Special) – seared in butter topped with white wine and lobster cream sauce with full chunks of lobster
Again, another dish I didn’t expect in a pub. You get two fillets of perfectly cooked cod. The white wine and the lobster cream sauce were so delicious, but it sort of overpowered the cod. The full chunks of lobsters were very generous too.
YellowBelly Brewery and Public House
Address: 288 Water St, St. John’s, NL A1C 5J9, Canada
Disclaimer: Although this was a sponsored tasting with YellowBelly Brewery and Public House, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the restaurant.