P.E.I. Brewing Company to expand with $2M loan
Expanded brewery to open in May
Prince Edward Island's only beer brewing company is hoping to expand its Atlantic Canadian market with the help of a new $2.14-million loan from the provincial government.
Allen Roach, the Minister of Innovation, approved the loan to the Prince Edward Island Brewing Company just before Christmas.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is loaning another $500,000, while the company is spending $220,000 on its expansion.
"We've been exporting for the last year into New Brunswick," said Jeff Squires, the president of the P.E.I. Brewing Company.
"Hopefully this year we'll be into Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and continue to put great P.E.I. beer products into the marketplace."
The P.E.I. Brewing Company is an offshoot of the Gahan House, located in downtown Charlottetown. The brewery has expanded into craft beer products including the Gahan Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale and the Beach Chair Lager, which got the company into cans.
"It's pretty exciting to see an Island company that has had great success in the past that are going to take a step forward," said Roach.
"It's nice to see that now we're going to have a brew from P.E.I. that's going to go to other provinces for sale, so it's going to be a big boost in developing our export markets."
Squires' partner is Kevin Murphy, the president of the Murphy Group of Restaurants, which owns 13 restaurants on P.E.I. including the Gahan House. Murphy also sits on the board of Innovation P.E.I.
The expanded brewery is expected to open in May and has a target of creating 25 new jobs.
"We've seen our sales dramatically increased from last year to this year and our business plan going forward indicates that growth is going to continue to happen," said Squires.
"In order to keep up with that we need space, we need equipment, we need people. We're going to continue to hire people here to meet the demand and staff the facility to keep pace with production requirements."