CAMERON’S: 20 Years of Craft Beer Making
Thirty years ago, for those who might be too young to remember, the craft beer industry in Canada was a virtual unknown. Macro brewers were dominating the market while independent beer companies were mainly local establishments, with limited distribution.
In Ontario, other than the odd basement mixologist and a few brew pubs, there were only a handful of independent brewers like Creemore, Great Lakes, Upper Canada and Amsterdam Brewing. Then in the mid-90’s, the second wave of craft brewers started popping up including Steam Whistle and Cameron’s.
In 1997, Cameron’s Brewing was born and people said we were crazy when we began our journey to introduce quality craft beer to the marketplace. Cameron’s Cream Ale was created and soon recognized at award shows for its great taste. What started as a mere hobby quickly turned into a flourishing small business.
How things have changed since then. Over the past five to ten years, craft breweries have been mushrooming across the country, with a new one opening on a weekly basis.
So, what is it that sparked Cameron’s founders along with a few other independent brewers to blaze the craft beer trail?
“Likely the first craft brewers had their eye on the trends that were emerging on the West Coast where consumers were developing a taste for new flavours and interesting, creative approaches to their beverages,” says Jason Britton, Cameron’s Brewmaster.
“Drinking has always been perceived as a social activity. Nowadays, it’s also a form of social status. Locally made products are very important for the new generation of beer drinkers. More than ever, what you drink is who you are,” says Bill Coleman, president & co-owner, Cameron’s Brewing.
Many people no longer want to be associated with popular bland brands, and would rather be seen drinking something a little more ‘exclusive’.
“People who love craft beer have gotten bored with the standard lager or pilsner style produced by most macro breweries. Craft beer is an opportunity to learn and experience unique flavours and takes on a multitude of beer styles,” adds Jason Britton.