A Brewery's Identity

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Posted Feb 7, 2019

A Brief History of Modern Partner Brewing

Boston, 1984. Boston Beer Co. launches Sam Adams, an instant classic that goes on to become one of the most popular and successful craft beers in North America. It’s popular around the world, but no where is it as popular as Massachusetts. Sam Adams is Boston. The Boston Beer Co. labelled themselves as a bona fide Boston brewery. It’s named after a founding father from Massachusetts. It’s the official beer of the Red Sox, for god sakes!

Despite being more Boston than a Patriot’s victory parade, the almost no Sam Adams was not originally brewed in Boston. It began brewing in Pittsburgh before expanding to Portland and then Cincinnati. While they ended up buying the breweries they brewed in across the country, Sam Adams didn’t open a brewery in Boston until 1988. That brewery still stands today, a small R&D brewery offering a tap room, beer tastings, and public tours. Sam Adams, one of the most popular and successful craft beers of all time, started as partner brewers.

Long Live Partner Brewing

This is not a slight against Sam Adams and the Boston Beer Co. They created a quality beer and an excellent brand, and while brewing is an art it’s also a business, and a good business need good branding. The Boston Beer Co. understood that a beers identity has very little to do with where it’s brewed. Capacity and proximity should not dictate identity and it certainly should not dictate success. Success and identity are dictated by the brewers and the product they put in the glass, and that doesn’t have a postal code.

There is still hesitation, however. Despite this long history and a significant rise in popularity some brewers are still reluctant to entertain partner brewing. Some believe that partner brewing is soulless; a monolith designed to homogenize traditional brewing practices. We understand the skepticism, but we also plan on changing their minds. Last Spike Brewery was founded on the belief that a beer’s soul isn’t dictated by the size of the brewery. Not by machines or labs or tools. We believe a beer’s soul comes from passion, craftsmanship, and dedication. It comes from a brewer. A brewhouse is just a house. Brewers make it a home.

Brewers First

More than just a brewery, Last Spike is a philosophy that champions beer and puts brewers first. We are facilitators, using our state-of-the-art brewery to help grow Canada’s already exceptional craft beer industry. We believe in passion. We believe in art. We believe in brewers.