Alexander Keith's Brewery
|Headquarters||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
Founded in 1820, Alexander Keith's is a brewery in Halifax, Canada. It is among the oldest commercial breweries in North America. (The oldest surviving brewing enterprise in Canada was established by John Molson in Montreal in 1786 while the oldest in the US, Yuengling, originally called Eagle Brewing, was founded in 1829 in Pottsville, PA.)
Keith's was founded by Alexander Keith who emigrated from Scotland in 1817. Keith moved the facility to its final location, a three-storey building on Hollis Street at Lower Water in the downtown area, in 1820. Keith had trained as a brewer in Edinburgh and London. His early product included ale, porter, ginger wine, table and spruce beers. Alexander Keith was mayor in 1843 and in 1853-54 and president of the Legislative Council from 1867 to his death in 1873.
Keith’s was sold to Oland Breweries in 1928 and to Labatt in 1971. Today, the brewery is under the control of this subsidiary of Anheuser–Busch InBev which took the brand national in 1990's. Keith's 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.
The annual Canadian Brewing Awards recognizes the best beers in Canada using blind taste tests. Most of the 2016 winners were craft beers. However, Alexander Keith’s IPA won Bronze in the "North American Style Blonde or Golden Ale" category. For the 2017 competition, new rules allow for entries only from fully Canadian-owned breweries for the 55 categories of beer.
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 advertisements 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. The ads were subsequently pulled when Robert Smith, the actor who portrayed the Scotsman, was charged with possession of child pornography in 2006 (convicted in 2008).
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 was marketed under that name long before the bold, intensely hoppy India pale ale style gained popularity with craft brewers. Its bitterness and hop character are low to moderate, rather than the moderate to very high typical of modern craft IPAs. In the United States, the beer is marketed as Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale.
- Dan Gentile (August 17, 2014). "THESE ARE THE 11 OLDEST OPERATING BREWERIES IN THE US". Thrillist. Thrillist Media Inc. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Koch, Phil (May 2009). "Beer Wars - Canadians have enjoyed suds for centuries". Canada's History. Canada's History. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
When Jacques Cartier arrived in North America, he and his crew were shown how to make the spruce beer Canada’s First Nations were already brewing. Many early settlers brewed beer in their homes
- "Keith Hall and Brewery". Historic Places. Parks Canada. 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Haynes, Megan (December 11, 2015). "How to turn 195, the Alexander Keith's way". Strategy Online. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
For the last two centuries, the Labatt-owned beer brand has been reflecting Maritime values back to its fanatical drinkers.
- Alexander Keith's (February 3, 2011). "Alexander Keith's Fine Beers Grows South of the Border". Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- "Alexander Keith's".
- "Alexander Keith's".
- Suits, Mark (3 June 2016). "Alberta breweries win big at Canadian Brewing Awards". Edmonton Journal. Edmonton. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- "OCB MEMBERS TAKE 38 MEDALS AT 2016 CANADIAN BREWING AWARDS". OCB. Ontario Craft Brewers. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- The Province (29 May 2016). "Winners announced for 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards". OBN. OBN. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "Call for Entry: 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards". Mom and Hopps. OBN. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- Blatchford, Christie (2008-05-06). "Child-porn guilty plea ends Charter challenge". Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
- Kyonka, Nick (2008-08-26). "Keith's beer ad actor jailed for child porn". Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
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