Alexander Keith's Brewery

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This article is about the brewery. For other uses, see Alexander Keith (disambiguation).
Alexander Keith's
Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery Logo.png
"Those who like it, like it a lot"
Location Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Opened 1820
Owner(s) Anheuser–Busch InBev
Active beers
Name Type
Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale (Known as Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale in US markets) India Pale Ale
Alexander Keith's Red Amber Ale Irish red ale
Alexander Keith's Premium White Witbier
Alexander Keith's Light Ale Pale ale
Alexander Keith's Dark Ale Stout
Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Style Lager Lager
Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Style Brown Ale Brown ale
Seasonal beers
Name Type
Alexander Keith's Harvest Ale Pale ale
Alexander Keith's Ambrosia Ale Blonde ale
Alexander Keith's Tartan Ale Scotch ale
Inactive beers
Name Type
Alexander Keith's Traditional Lager (Rebranded as Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Style Lager for US markets) Lager
Alexander Keith's Stag's Head Stout (Rebranded as Alexander Keith's Dark Ale) Stout

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.[citation needed] 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.

In April 2011, Anheuser–Busch InBev began selling Alexander Keith's beer in the United States after nearly two centuries of being available in Canada alone.[1]

Keith's brewery produces Keith's India Pale Ale, Keith's Red Amber Ale, Keith's Premium White, Keith's Light Ale,[2] 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.[3] 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),[1][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 was arrested for child pornography in February 2006, of which he was later convicted and sentenced to 21 months in jail.[4]

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

Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale[edit]

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[edit]

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,[5] 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 Dark Ale

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Although products and advertising in the U.S. are marked as originating from "A. Keith's Brewing, St. Louis, MO", this only refers to the company's nominal U.S. head office (co-located with Anheuser-Busch), not its production location.


  1. ^ a b Alexander Keith's (February 3, 2011). "Alexander Keith’s Fine Beers Grows South of the Border". Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Alexander Keith's". 
  3. ^ "Alexander Keith's". 
  4. ^ Kari, Shannon (August 25, 2008). "Former Keith’s actor gets 21 months for child porn possession". National Post. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Alexander Keith's official website". Anheuser–Busch InBev. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°38′41″N 63°34′13″W / 44.6446°N 63.5702°W / 44.6446; -63.5702