P.E.I. Gahan beer now available in N.B.
The P.E.I. Brewing Company, the creators of Gahan beers, is now exporting its products to New Brunswick, and have even bigger plans in the works.
People can get one of the microbrewery's Gahan beers straight from the tap at the Gahan House Pub Brewery in Charlottetown. Also available is the 500 ml bottle of the beer at any of the Island's liquor stores.
As of Wednesday morning, the company started shipping its Gahan-brand beers into New Brunswick for the first time.
"It's a competitive market for sure, but I think we feel that we have a quality product and we can compete in that marketplace as well as anybody," Jeff Squires, of the P.E.I. Brewing Company, said.
Visitors have been asking when they'll be able to get one of these brews in their home province.
"Big time. That's what they always used to ask. Now we're starting to tell them that they'll be able to get it there, which is good," Dan Roberts, at Gahan House, said.
The company is expanding beyond the Maritimes, and plans to sell a new kind of beer - in a can - under the P.E.I. Beer Company label both on the Island and across Canada.
"We feel that having a beer product under the P.E.I. Brewing Company label will have a great amount of brand recognition and promote P.E.I.," Squires said.
A new canning line will soon go up beside the new fermentors.
While Squires didn’t want to discuss how much the expansion is costing, the company did get a $1 million loan from the province to help make it happen.
"We see the growth in our company as being able to create jobs, and create an industry and be a real economic impactor here in our community," he said.
He believes beer sales will take off the way wine sales have in recent years.
"If you were to go to Western Canada or the Western U.S., you would see the number of brew pubs, and the number of microbreweries far outnumbers the number we have here in Eastern Canada," Squires said. "So, it's a real movement."
But are people willing to pay more for a craft beer during tough economic times?
"They're willing to pay for a quality product and they're willing to experience something that's unique to that area, I think that's why they're willing to pay a little bit more — it's part of the experience," Squires said.
Back at the Gahan House, they agree.
"Beer is really really, really growing, the market for it, and there's not a lot of competition on the Island, so it's good for us to get our beer away too, and put it up against other breweries and see how we do," Roberts said.