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Shaftebury Brewing Company

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Title: Shaftebury Brewing Company  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Delta, British Columbia, Companies based in British Columbia, List of companies of Canada
Collection: Canadian Brewing Companies, Companies Based in British Columbia, Delta, British Columbia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Shaftebury Brewing Company

The Shaftebury Brewing Company is a BC Craft Brewery started in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1986 .[1] Shaftebury was sold to Sleeman Sleeman Breweries in 1999. In 2014 the brand was again sold to Fireweed Brewing Company (dba Tree Brewing).

Beers produced include Four Twenty Brilliant Lager, Coastal Cream Ale, Wet Coast Wheat Ale, Easy Honey Pale Ale, Summer Days Premium Pilsner, and Winter Nights Black & Tan.


  • History 1
  • Brands 2
  • Awards 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Shaftebury was started in 1986 by Tim Wittig and Paul Beaton, two young entrepreneurs who cottoned on to the idea of starting a microbrewery in Vancouver for fun and profit. Sales were originally limited to draft in the Vancouver area, where they became popular among fans of British-style ales. Shaftebury taps are instantly recognizable, as they feature a porcelain bald brewing-guy with apron. By late 1995, growth prompted a move from within Vancouver to a new facility in the nearby suburb of Delta. With the purchase of the company by Sleeman Breweries in early 1999, the Delta plant shutdown and production moved on up to the Okanagan Spring brewery in Vernon. The Delta brewery equipment was sold to Fireweed Brewing and moved to Kelowna.

In February 2014 Shaftebury brands were purchased by Fireweed Brewing and production was moved to their Kelowna brewery where the Shaftebury Delta brewhouse is still used since they purchased it from Sleemans in 1999.

The West Coast interpretation of the cream ale can be traced back to one brand - Shaftebury Cream Ale.

Tim Wittig was the co-founder & co-owner of Shaftebury along with Paul Beaton from 1986 until 1999, when the brewery was sold to Sleeman. When these two men were starting the brewery, they enlisted the help of John Mitchell, the brewer who had set up Spinnakers and developed all of the recipes there. The Shaftebury team had gone around and tasted a number of beers in order to zero in on the flavour that they would like to have in the Shaftebury brands. They were particularly drawn to one of Mitchell’s beers: and English Mild, which was called Mount Tolmie dark. They therefore decided to model the Shaftebury beer recipe after this English Mild. Wittig explains that the original Shaftebury Cream Ale was dark brown: "At the time when we made it, it had a completely different flavour. It was 4.8 alcohol by volume and it got its dark colour from the chocolate and crystal malt that we imported from England."

As it turns out, the choice to call this beer a cream ale was an entirely arbitrary one. Wittig had heard the term cream ale before. The Genesee Cream Ale, brewed in Rochester, New York, was quite popular when he was a young boy. He doesn’t recall associating the term cream ale with a style, though: “We didn’t even know a lot about beer, honestly.” he explains. “It was just strictly a name that we had had exposure to and we thought sounded cool. It did just come straight out of the blue. It was not based on a style at all which probably drives people crazy.” In fact, the Shaftebury version did so well in Vancouver that, for most beer drinkers, it was the brand most closely associated with the term cream ale.[2]


Coastal Cream Ale - The original cream ale produced in BC and the signature beer produced by Shaftebury since 1988 Very smooth, medium bodied ale with subtle caramel notes and nut flavours. An excellent beer for any occasion. Colour – Light Red/brown Body - Medium Size - 500 ml can and 6 pack 355 ml cans ABV – 5%

Four Twenty Brilliant Lager - Smooth, light bodied lager. Very smooth with a clean, mild taste. An excellent beer for any occasion. Pleasant and clean aroma with subtle biscuit notes Colour – Pale, yellow/ gold Size: 500 ml can and 6 pack 355 ml cans ABV – 5%

Easy Honey Pale Ale - A light, refreshing ale that still manages to deliver some flavour - Bitterness is low, a slight citrusy flavour in the finish. (Currently not in production)

Wetcoast Winter Ale (Seasonal, 8.5%) - A strong seasonal ale, supplemented with blackstrap molasses and golden syrup. The 1997/98 version was rich and malty, with some cinnamon notes. (Seasonal/not currently available)


World Beer Cup - 2004 English-style Mild ale - Silver - Shaftebury Coastal Cream Ale[3]

World Beer Cup - 2006 English-style Mild Ale - Gold - Shaftebury Coastal Cream Ale[4]


  1. ^ "Shaftebury Brewing Co.". British Columbia Beer Guide. Retrieved Nov 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Canadian Cream Ale Puzzle". beerology. 
  3. ^ "World Beer Cup" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Canadian microbreweries win world beer cup medals". Peterborough Examiner. April 26, 2006. 

External links

  • Official site
  • [2]
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