Most preferred ales and other heavy beers, not lager.During those centuries and into the nineteenth, a number of commercial brewers thrived, including some that became the staple of the Canadian industry: John Molson founded a brewery in Montreal in 1786, Alexander Keith in Halifax in 1820, Thomas Carling in London in 1840, John Kinder Labatt in 1847, also in London, Susannah Oland in Halifax in 1867, and Eugene O'Keefe in Toronto in 1891.
According to writer Stephen Beaumont (in his book Stephen Beaumont’s Great Canadian Beer Guide) beer is an important aspect of the stereotypical Canadian.
Growth in revenue for beer makers averaged 1.3 per cent per year during 2011-2016; the estimated annual growth over the subsequent five years is only 0.4 percent per annum.
Nonetheless, the number of licensed breweries in Canada increased from 310 in 2010 to 640 in 2015.
It was only in the second half of the twentieth century that a significant number of new breweries opened up.
The Canadian Beer industry now plays an important role in Canadian identity, though globalization of the brewing industry has seen the major players in Canada acquired by, or merged with, foreign companies, notably its three largest beer producers, Labatt, Molson and Sleeman.