Dundurn Press, Toronto
soft cover, $24.99 Canadian, 480 pp.
Canada was built on brawn, beaver and beer, according to veteran beer marketer Allen Sneath in his ground-breaking chronicle, Brewed in Canada.
Before turning to writing, Sneath worked with Carling-O’Keefe and then with one of the founding partners of Algonquin Brewing Co., which was at one time Ontario’s largest micro.
With beer “in his blood,” Sneath became intrigued with Canada’s rich brewing culture. He said in an interview, “This project started as a dream that would…celebrate the proud heritage brewing represents in our country’s growth.”
He’s accomplished this goal in spades.
Mercifully not starting with the Egyptians, Sneath prefaces many of his chapters with a snapshot history of Canada to place brewing in context. Highlighting such famous brewers as Bennett, Brickman, Dawes, Dow, Ginter, Keith, Labatt, Oland, Shea, Sick and a representative selection of the 1,300 plus breweries that opened across the continent from the frozen shores of Hudson’s Bay to the Yukon, Sneath demonstrates the role brewers played in the developing nation.
The book includes both Canadian and American Prohibition, pre-World-War-I brewing mergers, and the emergence of national breweries under E. P. Taylor.
As a former marketer and micro insider, Sneath brings a unique perspective to the last 30 years and helps the novice grasp the whole concept of brand image and positioning.