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Sleeman Breweries Ltd. operates in Guelphmarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. The company has been brewing beer since August 17, 1988, but the history of Sleeman beer goes back to 1834 when John H. Sleeman established himself as a brewer and malter. The company ceased operations by 1933, when their liquor license was revoked for bootlegging, specifically, smuggling beer into Detroit, Michiganmarker. The company's current products are based on the family's original recipes. The company is currently owned by Japanese brewer Sapporo Breweries.


Sleeman's dates back to 1834 when John H. Sleeman begins his career as a malter and brewer. A timeline of Sleeman family owned breweries:

  • 1836 – Sleeman establishes the Stamford Springs Brewery in St. Catharinesmarker, Ontariomarker
  • Sleeman sells his brewery in 1845 to Holliday Brewery and opens a new company called Hodgerts Brewery in Guelphmarker
  • Hodgerts Brewery is renamed Holiday Brewery and later sold in 1850.
  • 1851 – Sleeman establishes his third brewery, Silver Springs Brewery in Guelphmarker and later relinquishes control to his son George Sleeman in 1867
  • 1900 – John's grandson George A. Sleeman establishes the Sleeman Brewing and Malting Company
  • Silver Springs Brewery Beverage Company is renamed Canada Malt Products in 1921
  • 1926 – Holliday Brewery obtains the original Sleeman Brewery and later acquired by Canada Cream of Malt in 1930
  • 1927 – Spring Bank Brewery is created by Henry O. Sleeman, son of George A Sleeman.
  • 1933 – Silver Creek Brewery is lost by the family when it was forced to sell to Jockey Club Brewery Limited after their liquor license was revoked for bootlegging.
  • 1938 – Jockey Club Brewery Limited bought out by Ace High Brewery Limited
  • 1939 – Ace High Brewery Limited ceases operations
  • 1955 – Sleeman Brewing and Malting Company name becomes inactive
  • 1988 – Sleeman Brewing and Malting Company re-established by John W. Sleeman, great great grandson of John H. Sleeman
  • 2006 – Sleeman Brewing and Malting Company – 12 August 2006, Sapporo Breweries reached a deal to purchase Sleeman for approximately $400 million.


Sleeman Breweries was the largest Canadian owned and operated brewery in Canada until a sale to Sapporo, completed in 2007. This made Moosehead Canada's largest independent brewing company at that point.

Between the reestablishment of the brand in 1988 and the sale to Sapporo in 2007, Sleeman acquired several other Canadian microbreweries, and became the third largest Canadian brewing company after Molson Coors and Labatt's. The acquisitions included Okanagan Spring Brewery in 1996, Upper Canada Brewing in 1998, Maritime Brewing in 2000, Shaftebury Brewing Company and Unibroue in 2004.


Aside from its own brands, the company also brews Pabst products for the Canadian market, including Stroh's and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Sleeman owns a small stake (2%) of Brewers Retail Inc., operator of The Beer Store retail chain, which due to a legally-protected near-monopoly has an over 90% market share of Ontario beer sales. The takeover by Sapporo means that no portion of Brewers Retail is held by any majority Canadian-owned entity, and may increase pressure on the government to force an end to the Brewers Retail near-monopoly.

Many Sleeman brands are distributed in clear bottles, which give them a distinctive look, but also leaves the beer inside more susceptible to light damage which can affect the taste.

See also

External links


  • Stueven, Richard (2005). "". Retrieved Apr. 10, 2005.

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