An impending closure spelled the end of an era and the loss of jobs for 40 employees

But, 16 men risked it all to start their own brewery. It took courage and a lot of nerve, but the Original 16 founders stood up to take matters into their own hands.

OUR HISTORY

This Saskatoon fixture has seen trials, triumphs and history made.

The brewery was built in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1927, operating as the Hub City Brewing Company. After some changes in management, in 1956, the brewery was acquired and operated as O’Keefe Brewing until 1989.

In 1989 the entire plant was invited to a meeting where they were told Carling and Molson would merge. This merger would mean the end of the brewery in Saskatoon and the loss of jobs for its 40 employees.

A group of determined and bold employees stood up and pooled their resources. The Original 16 risked it all and founded the Great Western Brewing Company. The brewery was David in a world full of Goliaths. But, with the support of their families, the Original 16 made it through each and every challenge thrown at them.

Now, the Great Western Brewing Company is one of Canada’s most successful regional brewers and an internationally recognized producer of world-class beer.

OUR PROCESS

Since 1990 we have been dedicated to brewing in the spirit of our Original 16 founders.

We pay a premium to make sure our beer is made with the best ingredients. We start with the finest two-row 100% Prairie barley and five choice hop varietals.

Our double-aged process is what finishes our brew giving you unparalleled smoothness. 

KEITH ARMSTRONG

Brewmaster

When we say 'well-rounded' you might think we're talking about our latest brew. But, it takes a well-rounded, beer-loving master to make the best beer in Canada.

What started as hobby and an interest has grown into a lifetime of dedication to education, experience, creativity and craftsmanship.

Keith obtained degrees in Biology and Commerce from the University of Alberta. From there he earned his Brewing degree from Siebel's Institute, participating with brewers from more than 30 countries, including former Great Western Brewmaster, Gib Henderson from Saskatoon.

Keith has brewed commercially working with brewing equipment from 40 hL. to 1,000 hL. brew scales, and breweries and global beer brands from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, and developing some of the earliest craft brews in Canada and in New Zealand.

He has made incredible contributions to the industry serving in many roles and acting as President of the Master Brewers Association of Canada. As a presenter at Master Brewers Association conferences and Institute of Brewing and Distilling conventions, and publications in the Technical Quarterly for the MBAA. It is clear, Keith knows what it takes to make great beer.

A dual-citizen of Canada and New Zealand, Keith has travelled the world seeking out and perfecting the transformative process of heat, mash, wort, boiling and fermentation. His family, a close-knit group of scientists, engineers and explorers, even love to visit volcanoes.

Keith loves to challenge people to know better, and to respect more. To him, these critical components are the foundations of our trade. He has a curiosity and respect for barley and yeast. As a Brewmaster he invites consumers into a greater appreciation and enjoyment of beers through methodical formulation and an unmatched palate. Keith loves almost all beers styles. He thoroughly enjoys clean beers that show the brewers have handled the malts well, and fully respected their yeast.