© TC MEDIA/Eric McCarthy
Eric Wagner intends to keep busy over the next few months transforming a former shellfish plant on his Murray Road property into Moth Lane Brewing. He plans to have the taps turned on by May.
Eric Wagner transforming former shellfish plant on Murray Road into Moth Lane Brewing, opening by May
MURRAY ROAD – At the moment it’s an idle shellfish plant.
By spring the building down the Mickey Allen Shore Road, off Murray Road, will be Prince County’s first microbrewery.
Owner, Eric Wagner has already started the transformation with a mix of demolition and new construction.
He points to an existing wall. “There will be serving taps along this wall.” On the opposite wall, there’s a sliding door that’s going to be removed. Beyond it will be the tanks where all the fermentation takes place. Beyond that will be a view of Malpeque Bay and the North Shore sandhills. The view will be dramatically enhanced from an upstairs patio, which is also on this winter’s construction schedule.
Much of what Moth Lane Brewing will look like is still neatly tucked away in Wagner’s head, but by May, he insists, the tanks will be in and the brewery will be operational.
“It will be ready to drink, keg or bottle. It will go either out the taps, in the growlers and out the door, or in kegs and out the door, or in the bottles.”
The brewery is off the beaten path, but Wagner is both hopeful and confident his brew will prove so popular that customers will search out Moth Lane and the brewery that’s down by the shore at the end of the lane. It will be marketed as a destination spot, he revealed.
He will also be marketing his kegs to restaurants, already confident of business through restaurants his daughters operates in Tyne Valley and West Point.
You won’t find Moth Lane on any official map, though; it’s the nickname for the Mickey Allen Shore Road.
There is a Moth Lane sign on a post at the end of the road, and it’s been there for about 25 years. The road was nicknamed so after Eric Wagner’s father, Gerald, The Moth.
And that, explains the entrepreneur, is where the name of his brewery comes from, as suggested by The Moth’s grandchildren.
Wagner’s enthusiasm for his new venture was so evident that Moth Lane Brewing won a $25,000 Ignition Fund grant from Innovation P.E.I. last fall. The rest of the investment is privately financed. He already owned the property.
The brewery is coming into being many years after Wagner started experimenting with his own home brews.
He feels he’s got several recipes down pat and is ready to broaden the appeal.
Even though it’s brew he’s producing, it’s the quality of the water available at his Murray Road property that Wagner believes will set his brewery apart. “The quality of your water has an awful lot to do with the quality of your beer,” he insists.
“People are going to like it. If you come down here, and you like beer, you’re going to like it.”