62 Labatt chapter 2

Brewing science and industrialization

In the early 1800s, beer was extremely hard to contain for long periods of time, this made it very hard for companies, including Labatt, to contain the “shelf life” of their beer. It wasn’t till the mid to late 1800s that bottles were soon made cheaply and sustainably enough to be of good use to Labatt. industrialization hit hard When Labatt was first made, they were only able to keep their beer inside of bars and breweries with very little chance to distribute the beer without it turning stale. Thanks to the invention of the beer bottle, Labatt was then able to fill these bottles with their beer and use it for distribution across Ontario and eventually the country and world.

One of the best things to ever happen to Labatt would be the creation of lager style beer. This was a huge upgrade for Labatt as beers flavour was very hard to manipulate and change due to the yeast in the 1800s.  it was all thanks Josef Groll, who first invented this process in the mid-1800s, that was able to make this new form of beer very popular. Most of Labatt’s beer was very similar in taste until this new process was shown to the company very early on in the 1900s. because Labatt was shown this method, they then created Labatt Blue, which has since become their most popular beverage (Beer Canada 2019) . Without the brewing style and creation of lager style beer, Labatt may have never reached the popularity and success it has now.


Beer style

            Labatt has over ten different styles of beer, which are mainly ales with the exception of a few lagers. Because of the timeline between the two styles of beer, Labatt’s main beer was mainly popular because of its normal ale. Although it was made the same as every other brand of alcohol, the style on how they brewed the ale stuck out compared to other companies, this was because of the barley that John Labatt had personally farmed himself. To this day Labatt’s ale is the more commonly purchased over their lager, this however, does not justify Labatt’s lager-style beer.  In 1951, Labatt introduced their most commonly known beer, the Labatt Blue lager-style beer. Labatt had used the same technique as every other company when it came to brewing lagers, but they changed one thing, when brewing, Labatt used aromatic hops over the traditional style of hops. Due to this slight change, Labatt became the soon known best style of lager and also the best beer in Canada (Labatt 2018).


The WI and WWII Era

Labatt’s company was not as greatly affected in World War One as other companies were. Since Labatt was and currently is a Canadian based company, they did not fall short on supplies or breweries due to the war. Labatt Brewing Company did unfortunately lose a good number of employees and only lost some percentage of production due to the war but, this was much less worse than the other companies who had to completely close down their business and lose production drastically. . All considered, the Labatt family themselves were very involved in the war, both John Labatt’s son and nephews enlisted at the first chance they were given.

In World War 2, Labatt was once again not as greatly impacted as other breweries in the world but still played a big role during and after the war. During the war, Labatt was once again short staffed due to the enlistment of soldiers at the time, this however, did not affect the outcome of production for Labatt brewing company.  In 1940, Labatt contributed to distributing their ales and lagers to the Canadian soldiers across the world and was one of the only brewing companies to do so (Labatt Heritage, 2017). In 1946, after the war, Labatt continued to contribute towards the soldiers who were involved in the war by helping veteran amputees with driver training to work for the Labatt Company (Labatt heritage, 2017).

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Beer Through the Ages Copyright © by Jordanne Christie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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