Guides

A Brief History of Craft Beer in Canada

Why Should You Drink Canadian Beers?

More importantly, Canadian Craft Beers?

We may be biased, but Canada (arguably) has some of the best beers in the world. By drinking beers from Canadian breweries, you’re fostering industry growth and nourishing new opportunities for economic development on a national scale. But the real effort here is in drinking Canadian craft beers from local breweries. This is very important because the beer industry in Canada is really, really big:

The beer industry contributed $13.6 Billion to Canada’s GDP in 2018, creating more than 149,000 jobs.

Beer Canada

History of Craft Beer in Canada

Craft beer has been prominent in Canada for decades. Before WWI, there were 117 independent or “craft” breweries in Canada. But by the 1980s, there were only 10 remaining with the 3 largest companies, Labatt, Molson and Carling O’Keefe, owning 96%t of the beer market.

Light lagers were very popular around this time. The beers were often low in hops and contained a large amount of rice and corn. Eventually, beer drinkers grew tired of drinking the same old light beers and craft beer was reborn in Canada.

In 1984, Canada’s first microbreweries opened: Brick Brewing Company in Waterloo, ON and Granville Island Brewing in Vancouver, B.C. By 2018, over 900 breweries were operating in Canada.

Quick Facts about Canadian Beer Today
  • According to Beer Canada, as of 2018, Canadians of legal drinking age consume an average of 210 cans of beer per year.
  • In 2018, 85% of the beer consumed in Canada was brewed in Canada. (Canadians love to #drinklocal)
What is #DrinkLocal?

#DrinkLocal is more than just a beer hashtag, it’s a craft beer movement.

Drink Local or “#drinklocal” is an important grass-roots social movement. The #DrinkLocal tag creates awareness and support for local breweries, pubs, taprooms and liquor stores. Click here to learn more about the #drinklocal movement or visit our Canadian Beer Guide to tap into the world of Canadian Craft Beer.

A Brief History of Craft Beer in Canada

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