August 30, 2018
Growing with the Community
Copper Bottom Brewing in Montague, P.E.I. began as an idea in the minds of wife-and-husband team Ashley Condon and Ken Spears over seven years ago. Ashley, a singer-songwriter with roots in Montague, was excited by the prospect of creating “a new type of community hall” with the brewery serving as a creative hub for musical and artistic talent. Ken saw an opportunity to connect with Islanders through his own passion -- brewing craft beer.
Their guiding philosophy since the brewery opened last year and was embraced by the community is essentially “build it and they will come; and they have, tenfold!” says Ashley. “It’s more than just a bar. We’ve created the space to be flexible. We have music, guest chefs, knitting club meetings, old and young, they’re all welcome.”
Ashley was recently chosen by Food Island Partnership to become one of several food advocates building awareness of the P.E.I. Fall Flavours Festival and P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival through their food stories on social media. For Ashley, it’s an opportunity to develop her various talents, connect with like-minded Islanders, and advance Canada’s Food Island.
“I was flattered to be asked,” says Ashley. “There are so many unique voices involved in the program, but I’m the only singer-songwriter on the list. I love telling stories. Ken and I have traveled through Europe experiencing various cultures and their food. It made me appreciate what P.E.I. has to offer.”
When Ashley and her fellow advocates finish the Food Advocate Program, they’ll attend Forage P.E.I., a new food symposium this October bringing together individuals from the food community for panel discussions and seminars with innovative guests.
Ashley will continue to promote pop-up food events at Copper Bottom Brewing. “Adding a food element by inviting guest chefs to our space was a natural progression for us. My mother was a fisherwoman. Life at home was centered on food. Ken and I are always looking for ways to share our ideas and explore the influence of beer, food, and art.”
By Magner Ink (). This is one in a series of articles on the P.E.I. Food Cluster.