Quidi Vidi's Iceberg tapped to represent Canada at international beer festival

Mark Quinn/CBC

A St. John's brewery hopes that being chosen to represent Canada at a beer festival in Toronto will help spread its signature product around the world.

Quidi Vidi Brewing Company beat out breweries in Nova Scotia and Ontario in an online vote to represent the country at the NATO Association of Canada's first beer festival, put on to strengthen international relations between countries.

Justin Fong, Quidi Vidi's head of marketing, says spending a night with diplomats and consuls made his work feel a bit different.

"It's not the people I usually spend my Thursday nights with," Fong said.

The event featured beers from member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Fong, who is also the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Brewing Association was planning to meet with people from different regions while in Toronto, and hopes the international exposure will allow Iceberg and other Quidi Vidi brews to move into different markets.

"We'll see if it can go anywhere else," Fong said. "I'd love to make Iceberg Canada's official beer."

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Fong says the NATO Association, which promotes awareness of the NATO military alliance, reached out to Quidi Vidi  in June, asking them to make a pitch for its Iceberg lager to represent Canada beer at the event.

"When you think of Canada you think of cold and unforgiving landscapes and the north," Fong said.

"Iceberg is all those things. It's a super-unique beer. Icebergs are only harvestable in Canada and a few other spots in the world but we're one of the only places that can actually even make an iceberg beer."

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