by Bryan Carver
Tucked in the rolling hills of central PEI, in the small community of Rose Valley, sits a rather innocuous barn that holds one of the best beer destinations in Atlantic Canada.
Founded by the father and son team of Hughie and Don Campbell, Barnone Brewery has been turning out some beloved ales since its inception in 2012. The Campbells saw an opportunity; use a portion of their old dairy barn to place a small brew house and plant hops in the adjacent pasture. Using their own hops in the beer, the Campbells debuted to much fanfare and have managed to maintain it. Sadly, Hughie passed away in 2015, leaving Don to oversee all aspects of the business that he and his father had built from the ground up.
Fortunately for Islanders and visitors alike, Barnone has extended their summer hours to enable visits to the quaint brewery perched atop a rolling hill, looking out over the Dunk River in the distance. It’s hard to find a better spot than the Barnone Corral to sit outside and drink a fresh beer on a clear PEI evening. For those of you who can’t make the trip, stop by the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market where they routinely sell their brews by the growler.
Typically offering four beers at any one time, Barnone has something for every beer drinker’s palate. The lightest and most approachable beer is Sessions—crisp and lean in its body, with low bitterness; an excellent choice for all. Don’s love of hops can be clearly seen in both the Barnone Pale Ale and IPA. Both have big citrus-y and resin-y aromas and a firm bitterness, Pale and IPA are regular favourites with locals. For those that enjoy a good stout, La Vaca Loca is a milk stout that makes appearances through the year, with flavours of dark roast coffee and chocolate balanced against the pleasant sweetness of milk sugar. Be sure to grab a pint when you see it being served, you may not have another chance. A few other beers will make their way to taps this summer, in typical Barnone fashion these summer ales are cloaked in mystery. With the limited supply and high demand, these limited summer releases sell quickly.
Check-in on the Barnone social media platforms to learn about events they have scheduled through the summer, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a great BBQ or a performance by a legendary or local (or legendary local) musician in a truly unique setting.
—Bryan Carver is Prince Edward Island’s first Certified Cicerone, a professional brewer and a longtime lover of beer.