Friday, September 22, 2017

#FoodwaysFriday - When Historic Places Meet Food: Yellowbelly Brewery and Public House

Exterior of Yellowbelly. Photo by Katie Harvey. 2017.

Yellowbelly Brewery and Public House is located on the corner of Water Street and George Street in downtown St. John's. It is a three-and-a-half storey brick and masonry building with a mid-pitch gable roof.

Constructed circa 1847, just after the fire of 1846, this is one of the few buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1892. Known as Yellow Belly Corner, this building has much historical significance in the area. It was traditionally a commercial premises, with the main floor being used as a business, and the second floor as a residence.

Main floor of restaurant. Photo by Katie Harvey. 2017.

According to local folklore and oral history, Yellow Belly Corner was named for the "Yellowbellies", who famously tied strips of yellow cloth around their waists. The "Yellowbellies" were one of the various Irish factions, including the "Wheybellies" from County Waterford, the "Clear-Airs" from County Tipperary, the "Doones" from County Kilkenny, and the "Dadyeens" from County Cork, who would meet and fight on this site. Following their victory, King George III cried, "Well done Yellowbellies."

Yellowbelly is a place that I frequent often. A group of friends and I went for happy hour last Friday. The place was bustling, as summer fades and people attempt to drink in those final few days of sunshine. On this particular visit, we ate chicken wings, wood fire pizza, burgers, fries, and of course, beers.

Yellowbelly is unique in that it is one of the few craft breweries that exist in St. John's. They have a variety of beers that they are well-known for including: Wexford Wheat, St. John's Stout,  Fighting Irish Red, and Yellowbelly Pale Ale. They also typically brew a seasonal beer that is available for a limited time.

Yellowbelly is a lovely place to visit when exploring the heritage district of downtown St. John's. It's great to be able to sit in a building that has such a rich history, while eating some tasty food and sipping locally brewed beer.  

-Katie Harvey

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