CCSI Cork Crowncap Database - Brewer/Bottler
Entered: 21 Aug 2009 05:20 - John Vetter - Modified: 28 Oct 2017 22:57 - Bob Burr
 Brewer/bottler #2497
Name Lethbridge Breweries Ltd.
Address First Street & Second Avenue
City Lethbridge
State/Province Alberta
Country Canada
Type Brewery
Extra info 1918--1958

Fritz Sick came from Germany and learned the brewing trade in breweries in Cincinnati, California, and Washington. Hemarried Louise Frank in 1889; the couple had 5 children: Louise,Fred, Emil, Helene, and Leo. Fritz owned or worked with breweries in Trail, Fort Steele, and Fernie before coming to Lethbridge.
Fritz Sick came to Lethbridge in 1901 with $8000 and started the Alberta Brewery. The brewery had as its 1st brew a lager called Alberta’s Pride. This “beer without a peer” was advertised as “concentrated liquid food” and families were encouraged to serve the beverage at meals to help maintain strong digestive organs and encourage the appetite.
In 1905, the brewery began to make malt beer and changed its name to Lethbridge Brewing and Malting Co. In 1918 the brewery became Lethbridge Breweries Limited.
Fritz and Emil Sick formed the Associated Breweries of Canada in 1928. This new company was an amalgamation of Lethbridge Breweries Ltd., the Prince Albert Breweries Ltd., the Regina Brewing Co. Ltd., and the New Edmonton Breweries Ltd. At the time, this was the largest brewing company amalgamation in the history of Western Canada, and resulted in the second largest brewing company in Canada. The amalgamation brought “greater economies and methods of efficiency”. This holding company became Sick’s Breweries Limited in 1944.
Because of organizations such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Alberta entered Prohibition on July 1, 1916. The Brewery survived Prohibition by making Near Beer or Temperance Beer, a beer with only 2% alcohol and renting out cold storage space to grocers and people who wished to store their fur coats in the summer. There were rumours that beer and whiskey left for the border in grain trucks.
The brewery also made soda pop and continued with this operation until 1965 when all interests in soda pop were sold to 7-Up Lethbridge Bottling Limited.
The 1st “soda pop” made by Lethbridge Breweries was “Okla Applo,” a carbonated apple cider. Brewed by Lethbridge Breweries Limited, this drink was introduced to Lethbridge on a Saturday in June, by dropping folders from a plane flying over the city. Attached to certain folders was a card entitling the holder to a free case of 24 pint bottles of the new beverage. Making soda pop also helped advertise the brewery during the time when the government banned advertising alcoholic beverages. The brewery produced under the Orange Crush Label, as well as its own Lethbridge Label.
Although Molson’s Breweries Limited bought the brewery in 1958, Molson’s continued to brew Lethbridge Pilsner and Lethbridge Lager Beer. The company continued brewing these brands to “suit local taste preferences with skills, modern techniques, and experience supplied by the entire country-wide organization..”
Other products brewed under Molson’s at the Lethbridge plant were Molson Canadian, Molson Light, and Molson Golden. National brands, such as these, were brewed locally because they could be easily exported over provincial boundaries and were familiar to a wider audience than the local Lethbridge Beer brand.
In 1989, Molson’s merged with Carling O’Keefe Operations and in 1990 operations ceased at the Lethbridge Brewery. In 1991, 90 years after Fritz Sick began brewing in Lethbridge, the brewery was knocked down.
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Other names used for this Brewer/bottler
Name 1 Sicks' Lethbridge Brewery
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Name 2 Lethbridge Brewing & Malting Company, The
Extra info 1905--1918
Name 3 The Alberta Brewery
Extra info 1901--1905
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