We reached back into history and revived a forgotten opener design from the first Golden Age of Craft Brewing in Canada near the turn of the 20th century. Our country was then home to mostly European immigrants who brought with them a preference for craftsmanship of traditional brews and an unbridled optimism which inspired success in their new homeland. Breweries sprang up across Canada, offering an abundance of beer styles by partnering quality brewing heritage with New World innovation. National pride swelled while Canada built a name for itself as a world-class producer of beer.
A prominent brewery of this era was owned by Charles Magee, and it was a ‘churchkey’ style opener issued by this brewery, found by none other than our Co-founder Greg in a Brewerianist collector sale that inspired our 2015 Retro Opener design. [Churchkey was the nickname for original openers used on bottles that looked similar to a large, old-fashion key used by monks to open their churches, as well as keep the precious beer they brewed safe.] Magee’s brewery and original opener marked a special place in Canada’s brewing history, as after this, Magee’s grandson, E.P. Taylor inherited the brewery and went on to acquire 30 more breweries sparking a massive consolidation of the beer industry that saw the number of breweries in Canada shrink from over 150 to only 5 in the 1950’s. ‘Economies of Scale’, ‘industrial efficiency’ and automation pushed authentic methods aside, and fewer, more homogeneous styles of beer were offered for sale across Canada.
At Steam Whistle, we are proud to be a part of the new Golden Age of Craft Brewing that has seen the number of breweries swell along with a returned pride for Canada’s world-class brewing. The traits of quality, tradition, integrity and loyalty embody everything our brewery stands for. This opener - a symbol of our values - is our gift to you.
The History of Steam Whistle Brewing’s
Celebrating more than a decade of Retro Openers