There does not appear to be any immediate end to new microbreweries flowing into operation in P.E.I.
Bogside Brewing hopes to open in Montague by the end of May, which would make it the seventh craft brewing business in the province.
Kyle Lutz, sales manager with Upstreet Craft Brewing, anticipates a couple more microbreweries opening each year for the next two or three years.
“There’s still room,’’ he says.
The craft brewing businesses in Prince Edward Island, adds Lutz, are a collaborative bunch.
The P.E.I. Craft Brewers Alliance is organizing its first P.E.I. Craft Beer Week to run June 1 to 8 with all of the Island breweries taking part.
Events at breweries and venues throughout the province will include tap takeovers, collaborative brews, contests, beer launches and open brewery days.
Lutz says the event aims to “showcase all of the great breweries and products that are coming out – to raise awareness that there is great beer being made here.’’
Close to 450,000 litres of Island craft beer was purchased in liquor stores on P.E.I. in fiscal year 2017-18. Sales jumped almost 55,000 litres in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Here is a list of the microbreweries operating on Prince Edward Island:
- Barnone Brewery and Hop Farm in Rose Valley,
- Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague,
- Evermore Brewing in Summerside,
- Moth Lane Brewing in Ellerslie,
- P.E.I. Brewing Company/Gahan House in Charlottetown, and
- Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown.
- Bogside Brewing hopes to open in Montague in May.
Lutz says sales in provincial liquor stores only account for one-third of the Upstreet products being purchased. One-third is sold in the two Upstreet locations in Charlottetown and another third in the roughly 70 P.E.I. restaurants and bars as well as businesses in Nova Scotia serving Upstreet brew.
Lutz says the key to Upstreet and other Island craft breweries thriving is to continue producing great, consistent product mixed with a continued willingness of Islanders to support local businesses.
“It is definitely a collaborative industry as a whole…as long as everybody is putting out good beer, it's a good thing for everybody,’’ he says.
Jamie MacLeod, director of corporate services with the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission, agrees the most important part of the formula in growing microbreweries in the province is “making a quality product.’’
He says the market will dictate how many craft breweries will operate on P.E.I.
“There’s certainly a growing interest in it for sure,’’ says MacLeod.
He says the commission will promote P.E.I. Craft Beer Week in liquor stores and on its website.
“But,’’ he adds, “It’s really industry-led, which is probably the way it should be.’’