Challenge: Bringing the traditional taste of a good brew to a modern market
Solution: Responding to changing customer demands to quench their thirst
The Prince Edward Island Brewing Company is satisfying a Canadian thirst for buying local and supporting independent enterprises.
“We are responding to consumer demand,” says Jeff Squires, president of the Charlottetown-based brewery. “People’s tastes are changing. We fit in.”
The PEI Brewing Company has been a good fit with beer drinkers since it was established in 2012.
Building on the success of an existing Island microbrewery, the Gahan House Brewery, the PEI Brewing Company almost immediately undertook an expansion and built a brand new brewery the following year. Since it opened its doors, annual sales have grown 245 per cent, and annual production has grown 240 per cent.
That growth, Jeff notes, is built on great taste. Working with international beer experts, the PEI Brewing Company has won multiple gold, silver and bronze medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards.
This year it received two awards in two separate categories. Vic Park Pale Ale won in the Session India Pale Ale category for the third year in a row. Hell Street Doppelbock, a winter seasonal beer, took home a bronze medal.
In all, the company currently brews and distributes the Gahan Line of Handcrafted Ales, the After Hour Series of seasonal beers, and the first canned craft beer in Atlantic Canada – Beach Chair Lager. And they’re all brewed in the company’s new state-of-the-art facility that features the latest technology available in the industry.
“Innovation is a core area for us,” says Jeff. “We will continue to grow. We’re looking at scaling up.”
For new entrepreneurs and those looking to grow their business, pacing is critical, cautions Jeff. “Make sure things are well planned. Don’t get ahead of yourself and don’t overextend. Do what you do very well.”
Partnerships focused on building, growing and scaling up a business, such as this one with the Government of Canada, also play a key role in the PEI Brewing Company’s continued growth. With support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the government is helping the brewing company remain competitive in a global market, while creating more jobs in the region. An investment of $500,000 is helping the PEI Brewing Company grow and expand its reach, tapping its award-winning craft beer into a larger market.
The PEI Brewing Company is a prime example of how innovation and resourcefulness fuel Atlantic Canada’s economy, at home and beyond.
Do you have a business concept? Do you have an innovative idea to improve or grow your business? For more information on programs and services available to businesses in Atlantic Canada call 1-800-561-7862 or go to canada.ca/acoa.