2017 Winner
Wise 50 Over 50 Award™

Norman MacDonald – Western Newfoundland Brewing Company Ltd.


Norm MacDonald has operated as a professional chemical engineer in the nuclear research industry for the past 30 years in a variety of roles as a project manager, a nuclear incident investigator, and, in a role few individuals in North America are licensed to hold, as a fuel design facility authority. Since the mid-1980s Norm had recognized the market potential for beer not brewed by one of the big players (Molson, Labatt) – The macro-brewers recipe profile involved stripping most of the character from flavourful beers in order to create a quickly and easily produced product. By doing away with filtering, cheap grains, and truncated maturation times, Norm understood that the product quality would be superior to what the big brewers were making

I started Western Newfoundland Brewing Company Ltd at 60 years old with two 30 year olds; Jim MacDonald and Jennifer Galliot. We started the business because it was something we enjoyed doing and there was a need in Western Newfoundland for a nano/microbrewery.

It would be 2016 before Norm finally had the chance to open a small brewery of his own, situated in Western Newfoundland – an area remote by urban standards, but one that sees over 300 000 unique visitors per year. In our first 6 months of operation sales have grown drastically month by month.

We began selling our product in December of 2016. Our initial capital investment was approximately $100 000. With investment and operation overhead we target $10 000 in sales per month. As of the conclusion of summer 2017 we are able to hit these targets and are working steadily to maintain production at maximum capacity.

After 6 months of operation we find ourselves in need of expansion in the near future.