More Lethbridge’s History with the Brew

Before the Sick’s Brewery began operation in 1901, there were other breweries as early as the late 1880s and the turn of the century producing that special brew of beer. Noel’s Brewery located in the river valley and operated by Joseph Noel and partner Narcisse St Goddart, produced “hop beer”. This 4 % brew was not aged but simply cleared of sediments and sold directly after the batch was made. There was also Malcom McKenzie, who owned McKenzie House later the Windsor Hotel, had a large brewery in the 1880s. In 1883, Joe Hall had established a brewery the riverbottom.

This moderate alcoholic beverage had been a staple for men from all walks of life. Regardless of the restrictions and the strict rules of disbursement beer continued to be a good choice of drink for everyone.

The turn of the century stores, Houk’s Company Wholesale Liquor store and Pagnuelo Wine and Spirit Company sold great quantities. George Houk had purchased the H. Taylor wholesale liquor business in 1902 and sold bottles of liquor from counter shelves and kegs of beer stored by the walls. The Pagnuelo Wine and Spirit Company, located on 2nd Avenue South, was owned by Charles Pagnuelo who sold wine, liquors and beer from 1908 -1915.

Town saloons with infamous names such as Bucket of Blood, Nickle Plate, Whoop-Up, The Exchange Beer Hall, the Baroness Criterion ,and Bowen & Morton’s saloon and lunch counter , all sold hop beer and probably got the supply from the river valley brewery and the stores. The Lethbridge House and Crown Hotels sold beer from bars within their premises.

Today micro-breweries today carry on this time honored tradition and distribution much like the
small breweries of yesteryear. This week to get your last chance to get tickets for the Galt Museum & Archives 2016 Beer Tasting Soirée and Fundraiser. Friday, September 9 from 5 to 10pm. Tickets are $12 per person and $9 for Annual Pass holders and are available at the Galt Museum and online at Guests must be 18 years and over.

ArticleDana InksterComment