When planning a visit to Charlottetown, P.E.I, I didn’t expect to find myself at a local brewery but in the end, I did just that – and it couldn’t have been a better decision.
Introducing: The Prince Edward Island Brewing Company!
This microbrewery has proved itself popular with the locals – so popular in fact that relocation to a larger premises has occurred several times since its founding in 1997, most recently in spring of this year. It appears that every summer, the islanders would drink the company dry. That’s impressive, but then again, who can blame them? PEI Brewing Company’s got everything: character, charm and most importantly, an impressive selections of natural ales and seasonals.
…but even before the beer, the building design is the first thing that tickles the senses. Once a Coca-Cola manufacturing plant, this cozy refurbished brick building now exhibits a retail store, a bar, a brew house and a curious collection of furbishings (streetlight lampshade, anyone?). The influence of numerous American breweries can be seen in the decor, a mix and match of the best aspects, creating something that is both familiar and unique.
The tour itself was a small and intimate affair, enjoyed at a easy pace and with enough simplicity that even the most jargon-shy among us could understand each ingredients purpose and every machines function (although I must say, I’m finding myself surprisingly accustomed to the terminology these days). And the best part of all? The beer tasting, of course!
Each standard tour includes three complimentary samples: two 5 oz and one 10 oz. M and I made the right decision to differentiate our choices as to sample as many options as possible and by the end of the tour, we both had our firm favourites. M would no doubt recommend Island Red Premium Red Ale, where as a drinker of light beer, I stand by both Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale and the mildly addicting Blueberry Ale. Still unsure? You can’t go wrong with a Beach Chair Lager – Atlantic Canada’s first canned craft beer. Our only regret is not taking the 6 pack tour, where you can take home a hearty pack of your favourites for only $10 extra.
When we left the brewery and ventured into Charlottetown for lunch, M and I ordered a pint with our meals. After taking the tour, here we were enjoying the finished product the way it was intended. It was a satisfying ending.
Now back at home, I desperately await the day that The Prince Edward Island Brewing Company can share its flavours to the Ontario market. Island famous hospitality – in a bottle.