Wine might be the drink of European kings and queens but in North America the head of the beverage alcohol state is undeniably beer. In fact, not only does beer hold a presidential title in the hearts of North Americans but many of the United State’s early presidents were also home brewers. Here in Canada some of our country’s most historically important citizens also enjoyed a passion for brewing.
Nova Scotia’s most famous brewmaster, Alexander Keith (Keith’s India Pale Ale), was much more than simply a great brewer. Alexander Keith served for three terms as mayor of the province’s capital Halifax and was a member of the Legislative Council for 30 years during the first half of the 19th century.
Look around the cold case and you’ll see other famous names on the labels of some of the most popular beers. Molson Canadian can thank John Molson’s brewing success in late 18th century Quebec for initiating this iconic Canadian beer. Similarly, John Labatt and John Sleeman were brewing up success in Ontario in the 19th century. So successful were they that their legacy continues today in the form of Labatt Blue and Sleeman’s Cream Ale; among the most popular brands in their namesake’s portfolios.
South of the border, beer has always been the drink of choice of US presidents. Despite a love of the vine, Thomas Jefferson brewed beer for home consumption while the United State’s first president, George Washington, was a devout lover of Porter; a Stout-like ale. But it was their Father of Confederation brethren Samuel Adam whose image continues to be associated to beer to this day in the form of the cult classic Samuel Adams Boston Lager; this despite the fact that Adams was never even a brewer. Adams’ family members were maltsters; that is, they were responsible for transforming grain into malt in preparation for making beer.