11/30/2014 08:32 EST | Updated 01/30/2015 05:59 EST

P.E.I.'s strongest beer to hit shelves soon

Raise your glass to toast the Island's new beer. One will probably do it.

A new P.E.I. beer boasting an alcohol level above 8 per cent will be sold in stores soon — a first for the province.

It's "kind of historic for beer in P.E.I. We were capped at 6.5 per cent, and that was where our original IPA sat at," said Mike Carver, with Prince Edward Island Brewing Company.

Before, beer with an alcohol content above 6.5 per cent could be imported but not brewed in the province. The Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission eliminated that cap last month.

The Brewing Company's new India Pale Ale is 8.5 per cent.

Beer enthusiasts such as Ryan Merry are happy about the new rules.

"When the legislation was passed," Merry said, "I was pretty excited. I'd only had one double IPA before, from somewhere else, so I was pretty excited to see what the guys here could do."

For an IPA lover such as Merry, the strong bitter beer is perfect.

Carver said the craft beer industry is taking off in P.E.I., and with fewer restrictions on brewers, companies will be more competitive in Canada and around the world. 

The brewery will officially launch its new beer on Thursday. The new IPA is expected to be available at liquor stores across the province in a few weeks.

For now, it will only be available in P.E.I.