It’s About the Journey: ‘Drinking in’ Prince Edward Island

Jenny D.Features, News & Views

by Jenny D.

To take advantage of my remaining summer vacation time, I decided to plan a trip up to Prince Edward Island. I took me, myself, and my awesome car across the border once more into Canada during a particularly warm week in August. The goals of this trip were to tour the place that was the inspiration for the Anne of Green Gables books, and of course to sample PEI oysters, mussels, and beers!

My first day in PEI, I participated in an oyster-themed cooking class at The Table Culinary Studio in Kensington. During this class, we learned about farming oysters, and then helped prepare a multi-course meal using the oysters we shucked. The meal was delicious, and pared well with a PEI American Pale Ale, Upstreet Do-Gooder (my rating: 3.75, Untapped rating: 3.77, Beer Advocate rating: 3.67), which was also used to batter the fried oysters.

Next, I continued on to Cavendish, where I checked into a lovely inn called Kindred Spirits, and explored the town that Avonlea is based on. I was excited by the fact that most of the sites, including the beach, were within walking distance. Since my phone carrier does not have international data, I relied on downloaded maps from the Maps.Me app to help me navigate and I delighted to find that many of the destinations were on OpenStreetMap, including a tucked away walking path leading to the beach.

The walking path took me by the Lake of Shining Waters (from Anne, but also that’s what it’s called!)

At the beach, I hiked by the dunes, climbed atop red rocky cliffs and swam in the warm ocean water (about 72 degrees Fahrenheit) before walking back. It was probably the best beach experience I ever had (I’m sorry, NH).

In the evening, I drove a short way to an event hall where the Ross Family Ceilidh and mussel boil were being held. I got all-you-can-eat mussels and some yummy salad and bread paired with another PEI beer – Beach Chair Lager from PEI Brewing Company. While not rated particularly highly on Untapped (3.36) or Beer Advocate (3.39), I actually found this to be a decent lager which paired well with the meal, and I gave it a 4.00. The show itself was spectacular, and my first ceilidh.

After saying goodbye to Cavendish, I continued on to Charlottetown, PEI, where I stopped at PEI Brewing Company. In the most pivotal moment of the trip, I discovered a beer which rivaled Lollipop Forest (I’m sorry, Deciduous): PEI Brewing Company’s After Hours Series Raspberry Sour. Well shoot. Not only is this a limited edition beer (oldest ratings on it are from mid-July), but you can only buy it there. I bought some cans to take home, and now I am hoarding it like I’m never going to find it again. Which I probably won’t :-(. It’s rated 3.68 on Beer Advocate, 3.83 on Untapped, and I gave it a 4.75.

The last brewery I have to talk about is Upstreet Brewing in Charlottetown. I stopped here for lunch, enjoying a delicious grilled cheese with vegetables on the side, and a Rhuby Social witbier. I rate the beer a 3.25 (BA Rating: 3.89, Untapped Rating: 3.65) but the food was really good.

As I have been working on this blog post, I have been reflecting not only about beer, but about the journey in finding the beer. I heard someone recently say that a beer hobby can lead you to discovering new interests. That has certainly been the case for me, and I look forward to many more adventures in the quest for good beer.