Alexander Keith's Brewery
"Those who like it, like it a lot"
|Location||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
Alexander Keith's is a Canadian brewery founded in 1820 in Halifax, Nova Scotia making it one of the oldest commercial breweries in all of North America. It was founded by Alexander Keith who emigrated from Scotland in 1817. Today, the brewery is under the control of Labatt, a subsidiary of Anheuser–Busch InBev. The brewery also produces Oland Brewery beers, distributed in Eastern Canada.
Keith's brewery produces Keith's India Pale Ale, Keith's Red Amber Ale, Keith's Premium White, Keith's Light Ale, and Keith's Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale, Keith's Nova Scotia Style Lager, and Keith's Nova Scotia Style Brown Ale for US markets. Keith's first, most popular, and most widely distributed beer is its India Pale Ale. Keith's has also produced Keith's Ambrosia Blonde, Keith's Harvest Ale, and Keith's Tartan Ale as seasonal brews. Originally brewed in the Halifax brewery, Anheuser–Busch InBev expanded production of Alexander Keith's beers to breweries in Ontario (London), Quebec (Montreal), Newfoundland (St. John's), British Columbia (Creston), and New York State (Baldwinsville),[nb 1] in addition to the original Halifax brewery which now produces beer for all of the Maritime provinces.
Alexander Keith's career as a politician, and the brewery's and Nova Scotia's Scottish heritage are used to market the beer. In 2002, the mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Peter Kelly, included an invitation to visit Halifax in each case of beer.
In the mid-2000s, Keiths ran a series of television adverts showing a beer-obsessed Scotsman, sporting mutton-chops and wearing a thick grey wool sweater and kilt. This character warned other bar patrons in an exaggerated Scottish brogue that they should not spill a drop of their Alexander Keith's ale. However the commercials were pulled after the actor, Robert Norman Smith, was arrested for child pornography in February 2006, of which he was later convicted and sentenced to 21 months in jail.
In the late 2000s, Keiths began a new advertising campaign using the slogan "Hold True" and later, "Made to Share". These advertisements target a younger demographic.
Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale
Many beer aficionados are quick to note that Keith's India Pale Ale lacks most of the qualities usually associated with the IPA style: the alcohol percentage is too low (5% ABV vs. the expected 5.5% to 6.5%), as is the level of bittering hops (less than 20 IBU vs. the expected 40-100). It also lacks the fruitiness and heavier body found in most ales. Keith's was marketed as an India Pale Ale long before the IPA style gained popularity in craft brewing circles as a revived historic beer style. This has allowed Keith’s to effectively grandfather the India Pale Ale name in without meeting the current IPA standards. In the United States, the beer is marketed as Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale.
Despite (or perhaps as a result of) its lack of resemblance to the current IPA standard, Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale continues to be Nova Scotia's most popular beer and the number one specialty beer in markets across Canada.
Alexander Keith's Premium White
The style called white beer is ordinarily characterized by inclusion of a large proportion of wheat in the brewing process. However, Keith's Premium White does not contain wheat. On their official website Keith's White is described as an "unflitered ale" but no mention is made of the use of wheat, and Anheuser–Busch InBev is careful to avoid use of the word "wheat" to describe this beer in their marketing materials. This beer is only available in Canada.
Alexander Keith's Stag's Head Stout
The issue of authenticity also arose when Keith's Stag’s Head Stout was released. Keith's Stag’s Head Stout was marketed as a "light" stout with the slogan "Stout need not be heavy." As heaviness is a prime factor in the stout classification it was widely panned by critics for not meeting the accepted standards of a true stout. As a result Keith’s decided to rebrand the brew as Dark Ale, a name that better reflects its dark character without the stout standard to meet. This beer is no longer available.
- Alexander Keith's (2011-02-03). "Alexander Keith’s Fine Beers Grows South of the Border". Retrieved 2013-03-02.
- "Alexander Keith's official website". Anheuser–Busch InBev. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- "Alexander Keith's Stag’s Head Stout - Alexander Keith's - BeerAdvocate". BeerAdvocate. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
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