Joey Seaman, co-founder of Upstreet Craft Brewing draws me a long cool Czech style pilsner while regaling me with the story of how the brewery got its start. “Basically it was just a few buds sitting around slugging back homebrew and dreaming big”, says Joey with a wink and a smile.
Unlike many such ideas which often disappear as fast as the foam on a cool ale, Joey, along with co-founders Mitch and Hogie put their noses to the grindstone and made their dream a reality. Hogie is Upstreet’s “secret weapon”, a self-taught in-house genius, he comes up with new brews with the dedication of a mad scientist poring over beakers and retorts in a castle dungeon. Most craft brewers won’t touch pilsner, as they require more time and skill to brew…but this doesn’t daunt Hogie and his crew from bringing one to this local neighborhood in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Speaking of which, neighborhood is an important concept for the Upstreet gang. The Upstreet Taproom has proven to be a great place to catch up with old friends, sit down and play a board game or just hang out and try great beer. Regulars can join the Upstreet Mug Club which boasts a number of perks including a hand-made personal mug which hangs proudly over the bar for when its service is needed.
Besides the Commons Czech Style Pilsner, Upstreet’s balanced and crisp take on a Bohemian classic, there’s the Do-Gooder American Pale Ale, a balanced ale with Upstreet’s own super-hero on the label. He hasn’t been named yet so suggestions are welcomed. I love the image on the Rhuby Social Strawberry Rhubarb Witbier which reminds of the elegantly dressed skeletons one sees in Mexico for the Day of the Dead ceremonies. Labels are designed by Newfoundland artist, Jud Haynes, and are quirky and imaginative, much in keeping with the contents.
My recommendation? Next visit to PEI why don’t you head over to “Up-street” and sample the legendary PEI friendliness… and some fine beer?
If you go … check out: Upstreet Craft Brewing
All Photos By George Burden – All Rights Reserved