It's no secret that the PEI Brewing Company is expanding. Just how much it's expanding and evolving might be a bit surprising to those of you off-island or out of "town", though. To save me some time and make this post efficient for you, here's the few interesting things you may like to know:
- Their brewing space has increased. A lot. Just over a year ago, they got a million-dollar loan from the province to expand their operations by adding some much-needed space and larger tanks. Basically, they built on to the left of what you see above with a large add-on.
|(How they envision their new facility will look. Only blue cars allowed.)|
- Now, they're on the move just up the Kensington Road (old place on the left in the top pic above, new place on the right), and expanding again in even more ways. From what I understand, the new place will have the capability to brew more than twice as much beer as they did last year, and it will provide more space overall for storage, office space, event space, guided tours, as well as a brewtique (among other things?). Just check out their Facebook page for lots of photos on the progress, their official site, or their Twitter account for some more quips, pics, and... I had to say it... frequent-enough errors in writing to drive me a little nuts. Nothing to do with the beer. It's just a thing of mine. This move and expansion got them another loan of $2,140,000 from the province, $500,000 from ACOA, and $220,000 of their own money. Check out the news article here. Many locals fuss over a successful family / group getting provincial money, but think of it - who do you want your money going to? Some unproven business or someone (gasp) "from away", or someone who's making progress and jobs here and (we all know) will pay all of the loan back? The new place opens up the middle of this May.
|(photo from their Facebook page)|
- Their market continues to grow outside the province. I believe their full commercial line-up is in New Brunswick's stores now, and they hope to have a presence in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland within the next year or so. Beyond that, I think they've designs on going cross-country, perhaps starting with the lager.
- They have had an extremely busy past year putting their brews in local venues. With the bucks to back up a plan that sees them supplying the kegerators and set-up/maintenance know-how & service, it's a bit of a no-brainer for local places to accept selling their brews. Have a look at the list of vendors on the site. I think I counted 82 places. I'm all for craft brew in as many places as possible, but I just hope this doesn't make it harder for a new brewery like Barnone or anyone else on (or off) Island to find some venues to sell their own brews.
- They've changed their logo. Again. After less than a year. After Beach Chair Lager came out last year, its logo was basically adopted as the company's logo. Now (thankfully / intelligently), they've gone with a better logo that isn't tied to just one of their beers. It made a sneaky appearance in this month's Buzz, but was only officially revealed online last week, and at last weekend's brew fest in Fredericton. I like the new logo. It's simple, classy, and gives a nod to our local history & brewing alike.
Did I forget to include anything?