Copper Bottom Brewing
Member - Island East Tourism Group
Ashley Condon is all over the place. When she’s not writing songs and performing, she’s running the Copper Bottom craft brewery in Montague, P.E.I. with her husband and brew-master Ken Spears.
Panmure Island Beach – I think that Panmure Island beach one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The views are spectacular from both sides the road which fringes the beach. You have the open ocean on one side and a beautiful view of St. Mary’s Bay on the other. I grew up just a few kilometres from this beach and if I walked directly behind my childhood house to Condon’s Shore and took a hard left, I’d eventually get to Panmure Island beach. It’s a true hidden gem and because of its length, you can always find a peaceful place to lay. I remember when I was around 12, my mom started dropping me off at the beach unsupervised with my friend Jaime. We use to love it because we could look at all the cute boys.
Point Prim Chowder House – At least once every summer my husband and I make the scenic trek from our house out to the end of a very long southern PEI peninsula called Point Prim. As you’re driving out along the peninsula, you have the ocean on the left and ocean on the right and at its climax, you’re treated to a vast 270-degree view of the Northumberland Strait. There sits a small building that could easily be mistaken for a cottage with its quaint charm and huge deck protruding on the back almost right into the sea. The Point Prim Chowder House is a favorite of ours. There’s nothing fancy about this place except for the view and it feels as though you are dining with your feet dangling in the water. The food is delicious and the service always friendly. I always get the steamer pot which is chalk full of fresh seafood. The best part is dipping your bread in the broth at the end.
Little dirt roads…everywhere – Another one of my favorite things to do, is to explore Eastern PEI via dirt roads. Everywhere you go, there is always a red dirt road that will take you there or at least take you off the beaten path enough to discover something new. I remember a few summers ago, my husband and I went “dirt road trekking” out around Georgetown. We ended up driving down a road that was unfamiliar to us. We drove to the end of the road (I think it was Burnt Pt. road) and at its end, we were treated to sweeping views of the bay and a beautiful, quiet beach. We walked along that beach for nearly an hour basking in the afternoon sun and proud of our little discovery.
Fall leaves at The Harvey Moore Bird Sanctuary, Montague – Just outside Montague there is a wildlife conservation and walking trail called The Harvey Moore Wildlife Sanctuary. This is located very close to my house so I often go on walks here particularly in the fall. About 3/4 of the way through the trail you come across a giant beaver dam that has been transformed into part of the walking path as it creates a bridge across the pond/marshlands. There are a few benches along this part of the trail and if you sit there in mid-October you’ll be treated to one of the most beautiful fall scenes. The leaves are on fire all along the water line. I always feel a sense of peace and safety here. I think it has a lot to do with the energy left here by Harvey Moore himself, a gentle soul who worked tirelessly for the protection of and preservation of several types of birds. This area is un-touched and safe for all wildlife and I have the say, I feel the same when I’m there.
The Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival – I will never forget the first time that I did a square dance. It was at my very first trip to The Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival around 2013. Ken and I reserved our place on the grass and took in an afternoon of traditional fiddle music. All ages from 3-93 took the stage and played with grace and conviction. Observing fiddle music is definitely my forte. This festival reminds me of one of the best things about PEI. Our sense of rootedness and our respect of tradition. This festival is more than 40 years old and, like in true PEI fashion, has been passed on to younger generations to move forward. Ken and I had not planned on staying through to evening but decided that we couldn’t pass up the offer. We looked in the car and realized that we had left our tent in there from a previous camping trip with a few blankets. We headed out to the smaller barn which was the after party that was the warm-up to the festival after-party. The entire room was filled with fiddles and guitars and dancers nearly tripping over each other as the space was so intimate. We eventually moved into the bigger barn for the grand finale; the square dance. I had no idea what I was doing but as soon as I made one turn to another I had someone yelling at me what to do next. Ken and I danced for hours that night and it was the beginning of a magical relationship with Rollo Bay and its amazing fiddle festival.
Copper Bottom Brewing – I suppose I am biased (seeing that I own the joint). However, I really love this little gem located right in the heart of Montague, PEI overlooking the beautiful Montague River. Ken and I sought to create a special place in the community for locals and tourists to come together all year long over delicious craft beers. What makes this special is one of the most beautiful & unique views of Montague while sitting in an designated historic building while sipping a cold beer with your friends over cards or listening to awesome local music. My husband and I had a wonderful moment a few weeks back during a crazy winter storm. We had made the call to close down shop for the day and as we turned off the last light, we decided to sit and enjoy the space for a moment. We poured ourselves a small beer while we sat looking out onto Main Street with the snow swirling about. I looked at Ken and said: “Look what we did.” Ken shook his head and agreed: “Yep, we did it”.
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