Moosehead Breweries Limited

89 Main Street West
Saint John, New Brunswick
E2M 3H2

Phone: (506) 635-7000
Fax: (506) 635-7029

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Member's Story

Moosehead has a long and storied history. Since 1867 they have survived two fires, expanded their line of beers, began distributing worldwide, and even discovered a little known part of the human psyche called the Outer-self. But, believe it or not, Moosehead had very humble beginnings.

Back in 1865, Susannah Oland sailed from England to Nova Scotia with her family and, lucky for us, with her recipe for a rather delicious brown October ale. Behind the walls of this humble brewery, Susannah turned her ale from a household Oland classic into a household name in Halifax. With husband John and 9 employees, they named the upstart The Army and Navy Brewery – after its most appreciative customers. John Oland’s untimely death forced Susannah to sell the brewery. The fact that there’s a Moosehead in your fridge today proves that nothing could keep this woman from making beer. Seven years later, the godmother of beer was back in business as S. Oland, Sons and Co. After just eight years of brewing, Susannah and her sons lost their brewery twice to a brewer’s worst nightmare – fire. It’s these early hardships that made Moosehead as strong as it is today. After Susannah's death her sons John Jr., Conrad and George carry on the tradition. The boys lead the company into the next century as the Maritime Brewing & Malting Co.

Two things the Olands had were great beer and resilience. In what was known as the Halifax Harbour Explosion, the city and Oland brewery were destroyed. Conrad dies and his brother John is injured. Most people would’ve packed up their barley and gone home. George Oland packed up his barley and went to New Brunswick. With insurance money, he and his sons bought another brewery and bounced right back.  With luck and a great product on his side, George and his New Brunswick Brewery buy a second, larger brewery in Saint John that’s the site of the present-day operation. Finally, the Moose we’ve all come to know and love makes an appearance as George launches Moosehead Pale Ale. The Moosehead brand has cemented the Oland’s place in Canadian brewing history.

In the early '60s Moosehead Breweries welcomed the fourth generation of Oland family members inside its brewery walls. .Holding the lion’s share of the Maritime beer market, the company looks to grow. Restricted from expanding across Canada, Brewery President Philip Oland launches Moosehead Lager in the United States.  Derek Oland takes his spot as Head Moose, and President of Moosehead Breweries Limited. Under his leadership, Moosehead Breweries starts thinking globally and Moose sightings begin rolling in from around the world. Finally the world has the perfect beer to enjoy in the great outdoors. 

In the early '90s inter-provincial trade barriers that have prevented Moosehead Beers from freely travelling across Canada are finally lifted. Moose prints start making impressions in bars and backyards across the country. Moosehead Lager wins Gold at the prestigious Monde Selection. This follows Gold medals at the World Beer Cup and 2003 Canadian Brewing Awards. Derek Oland’s sons Andrew and Patrick are the sixth generation of Olands working for the family brewery. Great-great-great Grandma Susannah would be proud. In 2008 Andrew assumes the Presidency of Moosehead Breweries Limited – now Canada’s oldest and largest independent brewery.