Upper Canada Brewing Company

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Upper Canada Brewing Company
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1985
Headquarters Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Products Beer
Owner Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

Upper Canada Brewing Company is a brewery in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Founded by Frank Heaps in Toronto, it started brewing beer in 1985[1] and grew to become one of the largest independent breweries in Canada.[2]

Its location at 2 Atlantic Ave. in Toronto[3] included a "gift shop" that allowed the independent brewer to sell alcohol on Sunday, something that Ontario's licensed outlet Beer Store chain, which had a virtual monopoly on beer sales, was not permitted to do at the time.

The company was sold to private investors in 1995, went public in 1996,[4] and was finally acquired by Sleeman Breweries in 1998.[5] Soon afterwards Frank Heaps' son (Cameron) used the profits his father made from selling Upper Canada Brewing Co. to open another Toronto based brewery in 2000, Steam Whistle Brewing. Upper Canada's production was moved to the more efficient brewing facility in Guelph, and is still available for purchase on Sunday, at the Guelph Brewery retail store.

There has been somewhat of a revival for the brand in the last couple of years, as it was repositioned as a value-craft beer ("Craft beer without the Premium price"), and sales have grown.

UCBC products are found at most Beer Store outlets in Ontario in 24 pack formats ($30.95), as well as at select locations of the government owned LCBO liquor store chain in 6-pack bottles ($9.75).


  1. ^ McClure, Matthew (8 August 1985). "Independent brewery gains tenuous hold in Metro market". Toronto Star. p. E1. 
  2. ^ Sneath, Allan Winn (2001). Brewed in Canada: The Untold Story of Canada's 350-Year-Old Brewing Industry. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 228. ISBN 1-55002-373-X. 
  3. ^ "Camp brewski (Upper Canada Brewing)". Toronto Life 30: 37. January 1996. 
  4. ^ Saunders, John (7 February 1996). "Upper Canada to go public". Globe and Mail. p. B1. 
  5. ^ Papoff, Lawrence (September 1998). "Last call for a crafty rebel". Profit 17: 31–33. 

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