The County

A young couple from Mississippi were visiting rural Ontario, their first time in Canada. Staying at the renowned Drake Devonshire Inn, they signed up for my 3-hour Parts Unknown of Prince Edward County guided tour. They didn’t realize just how unknown the parts were where I was taking them.

After driving through the pastoral landscape and having a tasting at a winery, I suggested a craft brewery they might like. We turned off the paved road onto a bumpy dirt lane. It was April, too early for green foliage, and there was no human settlement through the dismal swamp, with spring flood water lapping at road’s edge for a couple of kilometres.

I mentioned that we were going to Strange Brew, housed in the brewer’s own home. From the back seat, there was a conspicuous silence. What were they imagining would happen at this remote house, I wondered.

When we finally came out of the wilds and found a porch full of other patrons, the man commented with relief, “Phil, next time, you might want to make sure your guests get to know you better before you take them down that

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