Monday, 30 March 2009

Brewing in Canada

A package arrived from Canada this week. Inside was a book. It had taken so long to arrive, I'd forgotten I'd ordered it. I checked my AbeBook account to make sure I had. In case you haven't already guessed from the title of this post,it's "Brewing in Canada".

It's a bit off theme, I know. I usually limit myself to European beer. Even then, I'm drowning in a sea of material. But it is handy to have statistics from elsewhere for comparison purposes. And "Brewing in Canada" is full of those. A great buy. Now I recall why I bought it: it was dirt cheap.

"That's a boring cover." Andrew commented when I showed him the book. "It's what's inside that counts." He edged nervously away when I tried showing him some of the lovely tables. "Look, sales of beer by province 1952 - 1962. Andrew was by now nearly at the stairs. I followed him "Andrew, this one's brilliant - Number of Breweries and Production per Brewery"

Andrew was upstairs behind his computer before I got to Taxes. Don't know what's wrong with him. He has absolutely no interest in brewing statistics. Unlike his dad.


Alex Cooke said...

I've got to disagree with Andrew I think that is a great cover.

Ron Pattinson said...

I quite like the cover, too. Nice and simple and to the point.

Anonymous said...

If the rest of the country is like Toronto they might as well give up brewing there as a bad job.

Anonymous said...

It's a great book for tables and statistics. It's also great for the socio-historical analyse of our "bicéphale" country that you can make from it. Surprising to see that the french part of Canada was the in vast majority composed of english style Ales drinkers, v.s the rest of Canada, being more inclined toward lagers.

Alan said...

Ouch - it hurts so much when an anonymous comment maker at a blog makes mind-numbingly obscure slags about your nation.

Classic 1960s Canuck look and feel to that book. Very Expo 67.

Gary Gillman said...

I've seen that book and may still have it somewhere. English-style ales were popular in Quebec but that is not as important as it was because lager has in the mass market made large inroads there. Also, the style of ale that sold well in the 1900's was Canadian sparkling ale, which is a lager-ale hybrid and not all that different from lager - at least not since 1903 or so when Molson Export Ale emerged.

There is a small but vibrant microbrewery scene there, which is perhaps a reflection of older tastes. To the extent the ale thing has hung on, it reflects tastes formed in the 1800's. At that time, most of the breweries were owned by Anglo-Canadians and people consumed what they made. Only one brewery was not in Anglo hands, as I recall it was in Quebec City and called, to the best of my recolection, Frontenac.


Anonymous said...

Got it right, Frontenac, which also brewed mainly ales. It's odd, here in Quebec we have one of the few Porter that a brewery never stopped to brew: Labbat's Porter. A pretty bad brew, sweet with no caracter, but still, interesting from a historical point of view. I personnaly know some eldery people that drink this Porter for health. The reputation of Porter as healthy and full of Iron survive through the 21th century!