PEI Brewing Company launches new series of beers
by Bryan Carver
For their spring kickoff, PEI Brewing Company (PEIBC) let their team of brewers loose in the brewery to create four unique offerings for Island beer lovers in a new series of beers they have dubbed “After Hours Series.”
Helmed by Head Brewer Chris Long, the PEIBC team put their heads together to create beers that cover a broad range of styles from traditional brewing methods and cutting edge interpretations of modern classics. Each is packaged in its own unique bottle or can lending to the distinct qualities of each style.
The beer releases were staggered throughout the month of April. The first beer to hit the shelves was Cuvee La Joye—an elegant, wax dipped, 750ml bottle that is perfect for sharing and certainly sets a great tone for the releases that followed. It is a Belgian-inspired Golden Strong made by aging a portion in Bourbon barrels for eight months and then blending in a fresh batch just before bottling. A higher alcohol content, peppery yeast notes and oak tones all lead to a terrific glass of beer.
Their second release was another with inspiration from Belgium, Perseverance—a nod to the one of the most revered classic beers, Orval. Tawny in colour with a rich head, spicy notes from continental noble hops and the distinct, enticing aroma of Brettanomyces yeast, create pleasantly funky aromas of horse, hay and earth. Be sure to grab at least two bottles of this beer—enjoy one now and sample the second in a few months to see how it develops; the Brettanomyces present should dry out the finish and further alter the aroma.
The final two releases in the After Hours Series were done in tandem—Mango Smoothie IPA and Raspberry Sour.
Mango Smoothie IPA is definitely the most forward-thinking of the series and member of a beer style that is divisive within the beer community, challenging old perceptions of what a beer should and should not be. Brewed malted barley, wheat and oats later conditioned with mango puree, vanilla, lactose and generous amounts of hops, the aroma from this beer is more akin to a juice bar than a brewery. Like any bold new idea, Mango Smoothie IPA will certainly be met with both admiration and skepticism.
The sole canned offering in the series is the elusive Raspberry Sour, first brewed small scale in late 2017 to much fanfare. It has remained front of mind to many beer drinkers since first taste and will surely be welcomed back, if we’re lucky for an extended availability. With its spectacular hazy red appearance and massive raspberry aroma, this tangy offering will certainly be visible on many Island patios as the weather warms.
The “After Hours Series” is a great and welcome addition to the PEIBC portfolio of beers. They expertly bridged the gap of new and old ideas, creating a group of dynamic beer offerings that will be embraced by people looking to challenge their perceptions of what they believe beer to be.