Moth Lane Brewing’s first year in business brought phenomenal success that caused them to run out of beer more than once.
Now new government support may help the Prince County employer grow to satisfy the thirst of its eager customers. Owner and brewmaster Eric Wagner says he’ll be looking to the Small Business Investment Grant as he expands his operation and hires new employees.
“I’m applying for the grant. The pen will be to paper very soon,” he laughs. “We’re expanding and I’ll utilize anything I can get to help me.”
The business opened its doors on Mickey Allen’s Shore Road in Ellerslie in December 2017. Like the Island economy, demand for local craft brews is on a tear and Wagner said he doesn’t want to miss those opportunities again.
The 2018 budget includes a number of measures aimed at supporting the small businesses that create jobs and economic activity across the province. Measures include a small business tax cut of .5 per cent per year and investment grant of 15 per cent on investments up to $25,000. The province also awarded $2 million in job-related funding to community partners across the province.
Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer said the supports will help business large and small to create opportunities for Island talent at the same time as they add value to Island resources .
“Island employers are doing very well, with more people employed on Prince Edward Island than ever before. This economic success helps government and in return we want to encourage Island businesses to continue to expand.”
Wagner said he employs two people full-time with two more in the summer. He said his brewery’s out-of-the-way location has not proven a barrier to tourists who travel the byways and red dirt road to Moth Lane Brewing.
“We’re just here on a dirt road down by the water but people find us,” he said. “If you asked any business around here, I think they’d tell you that this whole area has benefited from the customers who come here to see Moth Lane.”
The brewery’s next plans include increased brewing capacity and a bottling line.
“There’s more demand than we can fill,” he said. “If you go into a liquor store in New Brunswick or Ontario, you’ll see that they have more than a couple of craft breweries with bottles for sale. There’s a whole lot of market demand out there that we aren’t meeting yet. I want to see what we can do to satisfy that demand.”
For more information on programs to assist Island businesses visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/biz-incentives