You never know what you’ll find when you step off your cruise ship to explore a foreign port. In my case, what I found was Iceberg Beer. Where I found it (sampled it and carried a six-pack aboard my ship) was in Canada’s easternmost city of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
St. John’s is packed with lively Irish pubs, so discovering a new brew wasn’t exactly earth shattering. But discovering a beer made from the water of 25,000 year-old bergs is something that could only happen here. Each year, icebergs break off from Greenland’s glaciers and drift over to Newfoundland. Harvesting the pure glacier water was a natural next step.
To reach the source of Iceberg Beer, I took a short ride out to Quidi Vidi Village where I toured Quidi Vidi Brewery. The building itself was once a fish processing plant. Now it’s a microbrewery producing craft beers for local consumption. Quidi Vidi 1892 Traditional Ale, for example, is a European-style amber ale. It’s named for the year of the great fire which destroyed a major part of St. John’s. The Iceberg Beer, on the other hand, is a light lager bottled in can’t miss bright blue bottles.
If you’re without wheels, the brewery tour is often offered as part of cruise ship shore excursions.
My cruise? It was Adventure Canada’s annual circumnavigation of Newfoundland, a 10-night cruise beginning and ending in St. John’s. For more information and upcoming cruise dates, check www.adventurecanada.com.