I recently had the chance to do a tour of PEI Brewing Company‘s beautiful new facilities, located at 96 Kensington Rd (at Garfield St) in Charlottetown. The former cabinet factory has been undergoing renovations for over a year, and will be have a grand opening in early May.
Still being completed, the foyer will house 17 vingettes, highlighting the history of the brewery and its principals. It will be a great place for visitors to grab a pint and wander around while waiting for a guided tour, or grab a growler to enjoy at home. It will highlight the important ingredients of beer: water, grain, hops and yeast and the brewing process (think waterfalls and hops bines climbing trellis). There is also a massive Events room, complete with stage, that will be home to concerts, weddings and any other events looking for a cool venue.
The brewery is a DME 50 hectolitre system, a big step up from their current 20bbl production system (just up the road, on Walker Drive). There are three 100hl and three 150hl fermenters to accept the wort, allowing production to at least double. This will save them from always playing catch up to meet the demand for their most popular beers: the Beach Chair Lager, Gahan Sir John A’s Honey Wheat, Island Red, Iron Horse Brown and 1772 IPA.
The facilities are set up to allow the public to get up close and personal with their favourite brewery. There is a massive window in front of the brewhouse, offering a peek into the brewing from Kensington Road (hopefully there will not be traffic jams as drivers watch the goings-on). Inside the brewery, a guided tour will take visitors on an elevated walkway, giving a great view of the brewing process, from the milling of the grain from the massive silos, through the mashing, boiling, cooling, fermenting and packaging.
We will update you once the facilities open to the public. In the meantime, the PEI Island Brew Tour is highlighting the pairing of their beer with great restaurants across PEI. Check their Facebook and Twitter for more information.
As a reminder, PEI Brewing Company’s beers are available in the PEILC and many restaurants on the island. As well, the ANBL carries their main line of beer, and some will be available in the NSLC shortly, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador, and parts further West.
From their start in a Lone Star Cafe 15 years ago, to the Gahan House (where they continue to brew for onsite sale and specialty beers) and now their expanded facilities, we’re excited to follow what the PEI Brewing Company is up to!