Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Dow dope

Dow Brewery of Montreal had its beginning in 1790 when a young Scotsman named Thomas Dunn set himself up in business as a brewer at Laprairie, a few miles outside town.

In 1808 Dunn moved his brewery to a site on Notre Dame Street in Montreal. Ten years later William Dow, the son of a Scottish brewer, joined him as head brewer and assistant, later as partner, the firm name becoming Dunn and Dow.

William Dow's brother Andrew came into the brewery in 1830. After Dunn's death the Dow brothers carried on the business under the name of Wm. Dow and Company. This arrangement lasted until Andrew's death in 1853. His brother William, who became a noted philanthropist, died in 1868.

An amalgamation of fourteen independent breweries, of which Dow was one, took place in 1909 with the formation of National Breweries Limited. Dow Brewery retained its identity in the new organization, in which it remained until 1952 when it was again reorganized and the name changed to Dow Brewery Limited. Dow is today a subsidiary of Canadian Breweries Limited.
A program of modernization and expansion was launched in the 50's. In 1953 the company moved into Ontario, purchasing the Ranger Brewing Company plant in Kitchener. This plant was closed early in 1961 when Dow bought a newer, larger brewery in Toronto. The company is known in Ontario as Dow Brewery (Ontario) Limited.
Through Dow Brewery (Western) Limited, incorporated in 1961, the company established itself in Manitoba and Alberta. There is a draught‑beer plant and provincial sales office in Calgary; a distributing warehouse and provincial sales office in Winnipeg.

The company's main plant, accounting for more than 70 per cent of its production, is in Montreal. Its Quebec City plant, a smaller replica of the Montreal establishment, is built on the site of La Brasserie du Roy, built by Governor Jean Talon in 1668 as Canada's earliest brewery.

The original vaults used to store the colonists' "biere" remain, and are a major tourist attraction.
In July, 1964, Dow Brewery Limited announced that it was financing the construction of a planetarium on Chaboillez Square in Montreal, where the company's head office is located, The completed project, which cost $1,250,000, was donated to the City of Montreal in 1966: and is operated by the Parks Department.

(Article from a 1967 edition of "Industrial Canada," in the collection of the University of Western Ontario Library.)

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