Volume 95, Issue 8

Thursday, September 13, 2001
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The great Canadian beer myth

The history of suds

Beer banter

Beer: a friend through joy and sorrow

Every beer has its special moment in time

The history of suds

10,000 to 5,000 B.C. – The oldest known record of brewing exists within the Sumerian empire, which was located in the area of Southern Mesopotamia.

1516 – the Reinheitsgebot law is passed in Germany which strictly dictates four legal ingredients which can be used in beer: barley, hops, yeast and water. A fifth ingredient – mindless stupidity – is officially recognized some years later.

1668 – Canada's first brewery is established by Jean Talon in New France; one is left to wonder why no religion has ever been created in his sweet, sweet name.

1786 – John Molson opens his first brewery in Montreal – commercials which exploit Canadian nationalism and feature some guy named Joe don't appear for another 214 years.

1829 – Alexander Keith and Son open their first brewery in Nova Scotia. Numerous leprechauns are invited to the opening day bash.

1840 – Thomas Carling opens their first brewery in London, Ontario.

1847 – The first Labatt brewery opens in London, Ontario. Labatt's is now owned by Belgian conglomerate, Interbrew.

1870 – Brewers span from Victoria B.C. to St. Johns Nfld. in Canada to cater to the thirsty public.

1918 – The federal Canadian cabinet declares that no intoxicating liquor of any kind can be sold or produced until twelve months after peace is restored (upon the completion of the World War I).

1920's (early) – Canadian officials come to their senses and the sweet amber poison returns to its Canuck home.

1920 – Prohibition declared in the U.S. with passing of the 18th Amendment.

1933 – Prohibition is repealed by newly elected Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Way to go, FDR.

1939 – The first Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program developed.

1982 – First episode of Cheers aired. Cliff and Norm became permanent fixtures in our lives – and on their bar stools

1983 – The film Strange Brew, based on the SCTV hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie, starring Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, is released in theatres.

1990 – First episode of The Simpsons aired and Duff beer sales skyrocket in Kwik-E-Marts across America

1995 – The growing number of designer drinks and coolers begin to weaken beer sales.

1999 – Joe Canadian makes his first appearance on stage and all those Canadian fallacies are finally resolved.

Today – Breweries exist in Canada in every province except P.E.I..

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