Crap, this is hard. The concept of shadow brands is, as I alluded to in my intro post, no where near cut and dry. Trying to present this information in a format that even approaches readable is basically impossible, so I’m just going to barf it all out here and let the Intertubes deal with it.
Before we get going, though, I should at least attempt to explain my reasoning. I considered a few key sources of evidence when compiling this. Those sources, in no particular order, are:
- Which breweries are owned by whom, usually determined via Wikipedia or Ratebeer
- What breweries are licensed to produce beer, according to the LCLB
- Who the LDB is paying for said produced beer
- My ass. Yup, pulled some of this out of there by dead reckoning. What, you expected journalistic integrity? Have we met?
So, if your label claims to be made by a brewery that isn’t licensed to make beer and certainly isn’t selling beer to the LDB, odds are you’re on this list.
Anyway, here goes. Here are the obvious beers in BC where who it says, or implies, brews the beer on the can (and it usually IS a can) is different from who actually brews it. In some cases, like Red Racer, you’ll notice the word “brewery” isn’t in the title anywhere, although “Central City” sure is tiny on the back. In others, like most of the Pacific Western brands, there IS brewery in the title but at least they acknowledge who brews it somewhere on the can. Others, like the various Allen brands and Turning Point, try to create the impression of a whole new, craft brewery that simply doesn’t exist.
I’ve left off some of the “purer” brands, like Cantebury for instance, just because they’re not trying to fool you and honestly I don’t want to write “Cantebury” more than twice in my life, and frankly they’re mostly Pacific Western anyways. Red Racer is here just because I like their cans.
Beers where the can claims/infers being brewed by someone other than who actually brews it
(Click header to sort)
|Brand||Brewed By (on can)||Who actually Brews it||Brand Type|
|Big Surf||Big Surf Beer||Prohibition||Shadow|
|Black Loon||Black Loon||Granville Island||Shadow|
|Bone Beer||Bone Beer||Prohibition||Shadow|
|Bowen Island||Bowen Island||Northam||Historic|
|Red Racer||Central City||Central City||Brand|
|Hell’s Gate||Hell’s Gate||Turning Point||Shadow|
|Stanley Park||Stanley Park||Turning Point||Shadow|
|Main Street||Main Street||Russell||Contract|
|Granville Island (12oz)||Granville Island||Molson||Contract|
|Hops & Robbers||Double Trouble||Dead Frog||Contract|
|Red Truck||Not Packaged||Red Truck||Brand|
|Sailor Hagars||Sailor Hagars||Howe Sound||Contract|
Who owns which breweries
(Click header to sort)
Now let’s talk ownership. Some of those brewers up there might have brick and mortar breweries, but they sure don’t own them. This is a list of all breweries in BC that are owned upright by another entity. That parent might be a bonafide brewery themselves (like GIB/Molson) or they might be a holding company (like Prohibition/Allen). My head hurts.
Also, some of these subsidiaries are quasi-independant, in that they have their own staff, own brewery, and then set their own direction independently of their fiscal overlords. In some cases (like GIB), the LDB even pays them out as a separate company.
|Brewery||Is owned By||Parent Brews||Quasi Independent|
|Whistler||Northam||Yes (as Bowen)||No|
|Red Truck||Mark James||No||No|
|Turning Point||Mark Anthony||Yes (not just beer)||No|
So there you have it. I probably missed a whole bunch, so swear at me below.