By Evan Ceretti
March 4, 2016
Upstreet Craft Brewing posted a photo yesterday on Facebook showing a pile of dirt in a vacant building from exactly one year ago.
A lot has happened since then.
Today, crowds fill the brewery. It hosts seasonal events, new beer launches, games nights, adult colouring nights, yoga in the brewery and it serves food to frequent visitors.
Since its opening in Charlottetown, it has branched out and now sells its product in Halifax. It wants to continue expanding in N.S. and hopes to enter the market in N.B., said Mikey Wasnidge, the marketing and events manager.
The community is open to new ideas that support Upstreet’s growing success, but the business also started at the right time and provides a good product, said Wasnidge.
“[The success has] a lot to do with timing and quality beer.”
The brewery has experienced constant growth since it first opened, he said.
“It’s better than we could have ever predicted.”
There was no way to expect the amount of community support, said Wasnidge.
“No idea people would be so warm and welcoming.”
Josh Coles is a regular at Upstreet.
“It’s very impressive what they’ve done in one year.”
The brewery is doing something special and people want to see them succeed, said Coles.
“The community is 100 per cent behind them.”
Wasnidge said other breweries and bars have influenced Upstreet to help them stand out, such as having pinball machines and board games.
People appreciate when a new business takes a newer approach, he said.
“Charlottetown is really ready to embrace bigger ideas.”
The brewery’s most popular beer is Commons, a four and a half per cent Czech style pilsner, followed by White Noize, a seven per cent white Indian Pale Ale.
“Their products are really good for a new brewery,” said Coles.
The co-founders are really experienced and hired the right people for the right job, he said.
Upstreet has gained momentum as an underdog in a city of very stable and recognized establishments. It’s a success story of young entrepreneurs, he said.
Other than having a taste for their beer, he goes there to play board games and pinball, and also because there will always be a familiar face nearby.
“People go. It has a gravitational pull to it.”