The summer of 1998 saw Greg Taylor, Cam Heaps and Greg Cromwell were redundant by the Upper Canada Brewing Company. Therefore, they decided to create their own craft brewery. Nineteen years later, they invented what has now become Canada’s largest independent craft brewer, with shipments to every province in the country except Quebec. The company also won Canada’s best managed Companies’ award, nine years in a row.
“Our goal from day one was to turn into Canada’s most respected beer, says Taylor, who leads the company alongside Heaps, Cromwell is no longer involved in the business. The company was originally called the Three Fired Guys Brewing Company before being renamed Steam Whistle in 1999.
The company’s head office is located in John Street Roundhouse, Toronto, which served as a repair site for Canadian Pacific Rail Locomotives until the 1980s. “They used the centrality of the roundhouse to their great benefit,” says beer writer Stephen Beaumont. They have one of the best brewery tours in the city and regularly sell out in advance. If you walk by the street, they will virtually shove a sampler of beer into your hands. Their marketing strategy is most admirable and worthy of emulation.”
The company uses traditional brewing techniques developed in the Czech Republic to make their pilsner, using spring water and GMO free malted barley.
J C Loum