Upon a Brewery-Part 2
company soon sent out over 500 embossed signs with their trade mark
for use outside hotels or public houses. A common sight on the streets
of the Border Cities was the dappled grey draught horses hitched
to their brightly painted wagons delivering kegs of Walkerville
beer and ale to the neighbourhood Inns and Hotels. Its beer was
"PURITY, CLEANLINESS, SKILL AND UNEXCELLED MATERIAL", and was advertised
as "Beer that is brewed in Glass".
the spring of 1890, Walkers' distillery hired a maltster by the
name of John Bott, born in the Channel Islands, Great Britain,
who arrived in Canada at the tender age of 18.
had been engaged in the barley trade in Toronto for ten years before
moving on to Chatham, Ontario. There, he worked for Howard &
Northwood as a maltster for 8 years.
wine malt and stout were legendary. "BOTT'S MALT PREPARATIONS" received
the highest award in its category at the Chicago World's Fair in
1893, giving considerable fame to the Walkerville Brewing company
where he was now employed. Using a German brewing method, he renamed
Walkerville lager Kaiser Beer. Shortly after, a ''BARBAROSSA'' brand
was introduced named for Frederick the first of Germany (1123-1190),
who sported a red beard.
1895, Bott was named manager of the Walkerville Brewing Company,
operating on 4 acres of land with newly remodelled ale and porter
cellars. By now, the brewery was one of the finest and most complete
breweries in Canada.
same year, Edward Chandler Walker hired his schoolboy friend Stephen
E. Griggs as manager of the breweries' United States operations,
located at 131-146 Beaubien St., in downtown Detroit. The Walkerville
Brewery purchased the Duncan Malt House and established a Detroit
bottling plant with a capacity of 400,000 dozen bottles. All
brewing was done in Walkerville and shipped in kegs to Detroit,
thus saving on excise duties. Through this agency, ale and lager
was shipped all over the United States under the Robin Hood label.
1897, the plant increased its capacity to 150,000 barrels annually,
a far cry from the 3,000 barrels produced just 7 years prior.
after taking charge of the Detroit operation, Mr. Griggs was named
managing director of the main plant in Walkerville, and by 1905,
became vice president and managing director of the brewery. Griggs
was doing so well at the brewery Edward Chandler Walker asked him
to assist at the Canadian Club distillery; he was made a director
of Hiram Walker & Sons in 1908.
1911, shipments of Walkerville Brewing lager, ale and porter
were delivered as far west as Rainy River & Kenora. The main
brands included Superior Lager, St. George's and Rob Roy Ale.
resigned as director of the CC distillery and devoted himself to
making Walkerville Brewing a showplace. Located in the centre of
Walkerville, it soon became a top tourist attraction, with thousands
touring the bottling shop and large cellars, where barrels of the
amber nectar were stored.
1913, E. Chandler gave Griggs $5,000 worth of Walkerville
Stock- later Griggs purchased shares held by John Bott, the former
manager of the brewery, effectively giving him control of the company.
Griggs was then made president of the Walkerville Brewing Company.
same year, the company employed over 55 employees, the plant consumed
over two million pounds of malt, thirty thousand pounds of hops,
filled thousands of glass bottles and four thousand new kegs annually.
brewery introduced Continental, marketed XXX Porter and a stout
for medicinal purposes- despite Hiram Walker's passing in
1899, the brewery was living up to his lofty standards!
Walker's son, Edward Chandler Walker, in poor health for a number
of years, died on March 11, 1915, at the age of 64. Among the many
legacies in his will was a large amount of money left to his schoolboy
friend, Stephen E. Griggs, who became the full owner of the Walkerville
1916, with the "war to end all wars" raging in Europe, the provincial
government enacted the Ontario Temperance Act, banning the selling
of liquor or beer; this lasted until the end of the war.
October 1919, a referendum was held to determine whether the act
should be repealed or retained on a peacetime basis. The citizens
of Ontario voted with a four hundred thousand majority to establish
'prohibition' as the permanent law of the province.
1920, the USA also went dry when Congress passed the Volstead Act,
prohibiting the manufacturing or selling of intoxicating alcohol;
this remained in force until 1933.
many other brew-eries during prohibition, Walkerville produced non-intoxicating
beverages containing less than 1% alcohol. The company claimed it
as refreshing as full strength beer, under the labels Continental
Lager and Scotch Boy Ale.
prohibition, the brewery established "export docks" in Lasalle;
boats would load Walkerville products day and night. It also had
a "Night Order Only" shipping clerk at the brewery and would ship
to various export docks. (cont'd)
2 of 4
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Brewing Tradition Returns to Olde Walkerville (April/May 2000)