IT STARTS WITH SUSANNAH
Susannah Oland arrives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with her husband John and their nine children. Susannah begins brewing in her backyard and sharing her October Brown Ale with the community. Popularity begins to rise, and in 1867 Turtle Grove Brewery (incorporated as John Oland and Son) is born.
KEEPING THE BREWERY GOING
After the unexpected death of her husband, Susannah and her sons secure support from investors to keep the brewery going. Turtle Grove Brewery is renamed Army & Navy Brewery.
DETERMINED TO OVERCOME
Susannah uses money from an inheritance to repurchase the controlling interest in the brewery from the investors, promptly renaming it S. Oland, Sons & Co. A year later, fire breaks out in the brewery, gutting the main building and several buildings nearby. Never one to throw in the towel, Susannah rebuilds a larger brewery on the same site.
THE SECOND GENERATION
Susannah dies and control of the brewery passes to the second generation, specifically into the hands of her youngest son, George W.C.
The Temperance Movement and impending prohibition results in several financial troubles. George W.C. sells the brewery to a British syndicate, who renames it Halifax Breweries Ltd. George W.C. and his brother John Culverwell stay on as managers.
ANOTHER FIRE BREAKS OUT
Another major fire ravages the inside of the brewery. But thanks to the new ownership, the company is able to survive the damage and continues operations.
A new beginning
A dispute over compensation leads George W.C. to end the relationship with the British syndicate and purchase Highland Spring Brewery in Halifax, renaming it Oland and Son Brewery.
THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION
At 9:04 a.m. on December 6th, a French warship collides with a Belgian relief vessel in the Halifax Harbour. The burning warship drifts into the pier and explodes, killing nearly 2,000 people and demolishing everything within 800 metres. Among the losses are the Oland and Son Brewery, six brewery workers, and Susannah’s son, Conrad.
MOVE TO SAINT JOHN
George W.C. uses money from his insurance and an explosion compensation fund to purchase the Red Ball Brewery in Saint John, New Brunswick. He sends his oldest son, George B., to run it while he and his son Sidney remain in Halifax to rebuild the brewery that was destroyed in the explosion.
THE BEER THAT BUILT THE BREWERY
The Olands’ business continues to grow, after the purchase of the James Ready Brewery. While searching through old James Ready company records after the takeover, George B. comes across the name “Moosehead” and is inspired to create Moosehead Pale Ale – the first beer to feature both the symbol of the moose and the “Moosehead” name.
THE FIRST LAGER IS BREWED
George B.’s son P.W. returns from brewing school at the University of Birmingham, England with a taste for European style lagers. In a now infamous act of rebellion, P.W. sneaks his new recipe into production while his father is out of the country, creating Alpine Lager.
MOOSEHEAD BREWERIES IS BORN
Canadians show great love for the iconic symbol of the moose. Recognizing this, George B. officially renames the brewery Moosehead Breweries Limited.
THE MOOSE IS LOOSE
With eyes set on expansion, fifth generation Derek Oland leads the development of a truly Canadian beer: Moosehead Lager. With its unique green bottle, majestic moose icon, and the “Moose is Loose” tagline, it becomes available in the United States, making its international debut.
LEADING AN ICONIC BRAND
Today, the sixth generation of Olands, brothers Andrew and Patrick lead the way. Together, their focus is on the future–the innovation of new brands and the modernization of the brewery.