Local Microbrewery Plans Expansion to Meet Growing Demand

News release

Neil King, MHA for Bonavista; Churence Rogers, Member of Parliament for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity; Sonja Mills, Co-owner of Port Rexton Brewing Company Limited and; the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation tour the company’s microbrewery. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, is providing a repayable contribution of $481,620 for the company to expand, while the provincial government is contributing $360,000.

Port Rexton Brewing Company Limited will increase production and improve its canning line 

March 11, 2019 – Port Rexton (NL) – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 

Small businesses in Atlantic Canadian rural communities help create jobs, diversify the local economy and boost growing industries such as manufacturing and tourism. On the Bonavista Peninsula, Port Rexton Brewing Company Limited is a key part of a revitalized hub of small businesses offering new experiences to residents and visitors to the region.   

Since launching its open concept microbrewery in a retrofitted old schoolhouse in 2016, the company has become a successful tourism destination. Port Rexton Brewing Company continues to grow as brand recognition has increased and demand for its craft beer has outpaced supply. This year, the company will start work to expand its current operation by adding a new manufacturing facility and a larger processing system, including enhancements to its existing semi-automated canning line. The expansion is expected to create two new jobs in Port Rexton. 

That is why the Government of Canada is providing a repayable contribution of $481,620 and the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation is providing $360,000 in repayable funding towards this project.

Churence Rogers, Member of Parliament for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), along with the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, made the announcement during a recent visit to the Port Rexton Brewing facility.

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.

Quotes

“Industries such as manufacturing and tourism drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada and help make our rural communities stronger. By investing in small manufacturing businesses like the Port Rexton Brewing Company, the Government of Canada is connecting businesses with the tools they need to scale up, respond to market demands and develop new business opportunities.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“With a growing base of dynamic small businesses such as The Port Rexton Brewing Company, the Bonavista Peninsula has become a key destination for exploring and tapping into unique local experiences and hospitality. The Government of Canada is pleased to support Port Rexton Brewing Company’s latest expansion, which is creating local jobs and contributing to this region’s growth.” 

- Churence Rogers, Member of Parliament for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity

“Our government is pleased to support the Port Rexton Brewing Company in its continued expansion and marketing initiatives, as it grows into a pillar of the Bonavista Peninsula tourism scene while developing its unique brand and product. Improving the visitor experience by offering diversified food and beverage products unique to a region is a key aspect of The Way Forward’s Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan.”

- The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“Port Rexton Brewing Company co-owners Sonja Mills and Alicia MacDonald have shown business excellence and a commitment to the Bonavista Peninsula that makes the announcement today such great news. I look forward to supporting the continued growth of the company and the positive economic and cultural impact this will bring to our region.”

- Neil King, MHA for Bonavista

“We are so grateful to the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for their continued support of our business and, in particular, upcoming expansion. Their investment will provide us with the means to take our business to the next level and make a more meaningful impact on our industry as well as the economic development of our community and region.”

- Sonja Mills, Co-owner, Port Rexton Brewing Company Limited

Quick facts

  • Port Rexton Brewing Company operates a microbrewery with a tasting area and outdoor patio in Port Rexton and has a small retail operation in St. John’s. Since opening, the company has enhanced production capacity, increased keg distribution to the St. John’s beer and restaurant market and purchased a small mobile canning line. 

  • The Government of Canada is investing a total of $481,620 in the company’s expansion through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP).

  • The BDP primarily assists Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs who want to start a business, increase productivity or improve operations.

  • The provincial government, through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, is contributing $360,000 in repayable funding towards this project through its Business Investment Program and is also providing $22,500 in non-repayable support for marketing activities under its Business Development Support Program.

Associated links

Contacts

Paul McGrath
Director, Communications
ACOA NL
709-772-2984
paul.mcgrath@canada.ca

Eric Humber
Media Relations Manager
Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819; 709-725-9655
erichumber@gov.nl.ca

Sonja Mills
Co-owner
Port Rexton Brewing Company Limited
709-464-7807
sonja@portrextonbrewing.com


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