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Black Horse beer

by Emily Urquhart
(Beer Delegate, NL, Canada)

Black Horse beer: Newfoundlanders miss it when they move out

Black Horse beer: Newfoundlanders miss it when they move out

Black Horse beer
Visit the UNOB's New Foundland and Labrador Beer Guide

Not available in any other province, Black Horse is greatly lamented and longed for by the many out-migrated Newfoundlanders who populate half of Alberta and a host of other provinces and countries across the globe.

It's the impetus for no less than four groups on Facebook, including The Black Horse Beer Drinkers group, where homesick Newfoundlanders post mournful missives about their beloved pale ale.

One member is filling his rented U-Haul with cases of Black Horse when he moves to Alberta later this month.

Contrary to the musings of a nameless beer-blogger who claims the head of his Black Horse deflated in mere moments, the froth on my last pour stayed thick and floated atop the golden brew rather resembling the iceberg pictured on the label (along with a black-beauty style horse perched on the edge of one of Newfoundland's rocky cliffs.)

Although these discerning taste buds found the drink not terribly different from other Molson-brewed brands (Canadian, Export, Coor's Light) this ale wins hearts, (beer) guts and points for sentimentality alone.

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Jan 06, 2014
Tears in Me Eyes
by: Dan Vasey

If anyone is still listening, I'd second everything longmemory said and add a couple of notes.

There were a couple of darker, maltier ales in the US in the 1960s, such as Rheingold Ale, and several Pennsylvania breweries made sweet, barely hopped porters. Don't forget the late, great Ballantine IPA.

Black Horse was also brewed in the US, where I lived. I regularly drank Black Horse and Ballantine XXX. Black Horse then was almost like a Czech pilsener in its flavours and finish. Cold conditioned? Ballantine had more body and a distinctive hop aroma from distilled Bullion oils, not found in the present-day beer by that name. I preferred Ballantine on draft and Black Horse in bottles.

I had no idea Black Horse is still available in Newfoundland, which I have not visited since 1997. Must get back.

Feb 17, 2012
A Little History!
by: Chris

Hi, great post! I too, miss Black Horse, but it's not (genealogically speaking) as deeply connected to Newfoundland as we might hope!

Black Horse was first brewed in Montreal by Dawes Brewing (possibly as far back as 1811), which was bought by Dow's brewing, which was bought by Carling O’Keefe in the 1960's (likely when Black Horse came to NL) and then they were bought by Molson. Most of the brands (Jockey, India, Blue Star) which are now owned by Labatt and Molson (making them really -almost- identical in taste, color, aroma, and flavour) were made by much more local breweries than Black Horse ever was in NL! They've stuck around in NL because Molson/Labatt control most of the market and there is only a fledgling craft beer market to reclame historical Newfoundland beer styles (like India Pale Ales, which India beer is not).

Check out my research page for some of the sources for this information and some old Black Horse labels (Dow's era).

Dec 19, 2011
we have all kinds
by: sois

we have alot of beers that are only available in newfoundland, jockey club, india beer, blue star. people say its refreshing to get a decent tasting beer wher they come from away.

Jan 16, 2011
black horse beer
by: Anonymous

Affectionately know here on the island as "Pony Piss" it's the only beer with a picture of the brewery on the bottle. And as other posts indicate, despite the presence of several molson breweries in Canada, it can only be purchased here in Newfoundland.

Jan 12, 2011
black horse
by: longmemory

In the 1960s and 1970s Black Horse Ale was available in much of eastern Canada and the US. Though a Molson product it was also brewed in Boston.

At that time ale in North America pretty much meant blond kolsch style brews. Black Horse, Carling's Red (also Canada and US), Rainier (Seattle), Ballantine's (Newark) kept the faith. In addition, quite a few small breweries in the US made "cream ales" that were quite cheap and generally a little better than their cheap lagers,

Ballantine also brewed a legendary wood-aged IPA that an Oregon brewery is trying to replicate.

Ales almost disappeared n &s of the border by the late 1970s, until microbreweries saved the day and also introduced British, Belgian and German (altbier) ale styles.

Sep 26, 2010
black horse availability
by: Anonymousa

reply to Anonymous: that is because there is no free trade in Canada - the same applies to a myriad of Canadian products - 'tis ridiculous.

Sep 26, 2010
black horse availability
by: Anonymousa

reply to Anonymous: that is because there is no free trade in Canada - the same applies to a myriad of Canadian products - 'tis ridiculous.

Sep 14, 2010
local beer
by: Anonymous

Nowhere else has the pure water to make Black Horse the way its made here in Newfoundland!

Aug 17, 2010
re: where to get it?
by: Stallion

it's true that blackhorse is only available in newfoundland, and seen as it's a molson/coors product, molson/coors has a brewery in newfoundland, same as halifax, montreal, vancouver, toronto, etc. So their brewery in newfoundland is the only brewery that makes that particular kind of beer. Hope this helps

Jun 12, 2010
where to get it?
by: Anonymous

if the brewery is in Montreal and parts of Molson/Coors why is it only available in Newfoundland?
or is that just an urban legend?

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