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Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet Bryan Carver: Gahan Brewery, Charlottetown, PEI

Meet Bryan Carver, brewer with the Gahan Brewing Co. in Charlottetown, PEI.

Carver, a construction worker by trade, got into the brewing industry by chance. When Gahan was building their bottling plant, Carver was one of the contractor's on site and he be-friended Gahan's Brewmaster Trent Hayes, who eventually got him into brewing beers for the brewpub (Gahan Brewing Co. has a brewpub and a larger brewing and bottling facility).

With some staff changes, Carver went on to be brew full time at the brewpub, brewing a number of brands that aren't available in bottle. He now spends his days between both locations, which he says keeps things interesting.

Meet Bryan Carver!

Where is the Gahan Brewery situated and what beers do you currently produce?
Gahan Brewery is located in Charlottetown, PEI. We have a brewpub and bottling plant currently producing our beer. At the brewpub we make Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale, Island Red, 1772 IPA, Harvest Gold Pale Ale, Sydney Street Stout, Iron Horse Brown Ale and usually have a seasonal beer on too. We bottle the Honey Wheat, Red, and just recently our IPA and Brown Ale have been added to the line up.

Describe the history behind the brewery.
The first inception of the brewery was a 3 barrel system located at a Lone Star Cafe in Charlottetown back in 1997. In 2001 a larger brew house was purchased and moved into an historic property in Old Charlottetown. Demand grew beyond the production capability and in 2007 a new DME 20 hectoliter system was set up at our current bottling plant.

What is your best selling beer?
Sir John A's Honey Wheat and Island Red Ale have been pretty much neck and neck in sales. We have been seeing good growth with our IPA and our seasonal beers sell pretty well at the brewpub.

What's new at the brewery? 
We just started bottling our IPA and Brown Ale. Next we are getting ready for an expansion that will give us a bit more room to grow, as well as exploring canning options available to a brewery our size. We also just won a Gold at the Canadian Brewing Awards with our Sir John A's Honey Wheat Ale, which was our first medal and a great feeling at the end of another busy summer.

What is the best aspect of working in the Canadian craft brewery industry?
Definitely the people. I have been very fortunate getting to know many top notch people from all over the world, all passionate about beer. There is a great sense of community in a relatively small industry, especially in this part of the country.

Where can someone find your products?
Our bottled beers are available at PEI Liquor Commission stores and growlers are available at the pub. A lot of restaurants across the Island carry our beer too, Albert and Crown in Alberton, Ship to Shore in Darnely and Island Stone Pub in Kensington just to name a few.

Tell us something about the Gahan Brewery that not a lot of people know about.
We are a small crew of a few guys that love beer and spend a lot of time making sure that all aspects of the operation are well taken care of. During the summer we are run off of our feet for three months, which is unfortunate because we hardly get to enjoy the beauty of PEI in the summer. At least we have beer close at hand!

PEI is a small province - how is the local support?
Local support is great! The Gahan House is one of the busiest restaurants on the Island. I can't believe the amount of people that come in every day of the week. During the summer we can hardly keep beer on the shelves at the liquor stores.

What is the highlight of your brewing career - to date?
Getting our IPA into bottles was a great highlight. The beer selection on PEI is limited and getting a strong hoppy ale on the shelves was way past due. Also, George Wendt was in Charlottetown a couple of years ago performing in 'Hair Spray'. He walked past a co-worker as he was moving garbage cans of spent grain and proceeded to say "You do good work, God's work!" Knowing he said that put a grin on our faces for weeks.

Name your favourite non Gahan Brewery produced beer?
The beers I have had from Central City have been great, their Red Racer IPA is terrific. Picaroon's Best Bitter is another great beer that I wish was in my fridge more often.

Best time for a pint?
Sunday Afternoon, without question.

1 comment:

Steverino said...

Great article on "B.A.", Burtch!
Nice to see us Islanders popping and hopping up more and more on the beer scene. I'm glad to see things starting to grow here after many static years.

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