History Byte – Who was Who in the Brewing Business – Alexander Keith

Who was Who in the Brewing Business takes a brief look at some of the personalities active in the business in Canada in the 1800s.  These mini biographies were prepared by the Historical Programming department at Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Hon. Alexander Keith, copied 1887
© McCord Museum

Alexander Keith

Alexander Keith arrived in Halifax in 1817 completely prepared to run a brewery, having studied the art since he was 17.  Keith took a gamble in an unstable market after the War of 1812 and decided to expand his operation in 1822.  His gamble paid off, and he was able to make a name for himself as a brewer of strong ales and porter, as well as milder brews.  In 1853 Keith’s only son Donald became a full partner and the name changed to Alex Keith & Son.  Keith, a key player in the social scene as well as the business community, served as Mayor of Halifax three times, and was elected the Grandmaster of the Freemasons.

Today Alexander Keith’s is a subsidiary of Labatt and their beers are available across Canada and the United States.

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