Frank Appleton – The Story about the Pioneer and Brewmaster of Canadian Craft Beer

Brewing Revolution

Pioneering the Craft Beer Movement

 

This post is another addition to the growing list showcasing our local celebrities, who through their outstanding work within their own field of specialty have made invaluable contributions to our country. The following is the story of Frank Appleton.

“I was just one of the first to write an article that became a revolutionary pamphlet, it said something that many had thought—that good beer, flavorful and nutritious beer, had become debased. It had lost out to a mass-produced pale imitation of itself. The reaction was an idea whose time had come.”

THE INSPIRING STORY BEHIND TODAY’S CRAFT BEER revolution is the subject of this lively memoir by Frank Appleton, the English-trained brewmaster who is considered by many to be the father of Canada’s craft brewing movement. Appleton chronicles fifty years in the brewing business, from his early years working for one of the major breweries, to his part in establishing the first cottage brewery in Canada, to a forward look at the craft beer industry in an ever-more competitive market.

aPPLETON PHOTO
Frank Appleton

Disillusioned with the Canadian brewing scene in the early 1970s, where three huge companies controlled 90 percent of the market and marketers and accountants made the decisions on what products to make, not the brewmasters, Appleton decided to “drop out” and brew his own beer while homesteading in the interior of British Columbia. He made a meager living as a freelance writer and his article entitled “The Underground Brewmaster” sparked the interest of John Mitchell, co-founder of the Troller Pub in Horseshoe Bay, bc. Their partnership launched the Horseshoe Bay Brewery in June 1982, the first of its kind in the country, serving the iconic Bay Ale brewed from Appleton’s recipe.

IMG_0277
The entire Appleton family in Hoyne’s brewery, Victoria, BC

Covering a range of topics, such as the difficulty of steering beer drinkers away from the “Big Boys” breweries; and struggles with the bc Liquor Control Board, as well as brewing plant design and the complexities of the malting process, Brewing Revolution touches upon the foundation of what shaped the craft beer industry in Canada. Appleton’s passion and innovation opened the gates for the scores of brewpubs and microbreweries that were to follow in both Canada and the us, and his story is of interest to anyone excited by today’s craft beer revival.

IMG_0268
Frank Appleton and Sean Hoyne, one of Frank’s Protégés

FRANK APPLETON has been consultant brewmaster to twenty brewing operations, including consulting in brewery design, startup and brewer training. In 2009, Appleton received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Craft Brewing from CAMRA Chapter Victoria. He lives in Edgewood, BC.

Edgewood local and craft beer pioneer Frank Appleton, author of Brewing Revolution: Pioneering the Craft Beer Movement (Harbour Publishing, 2016), is one of the front-runners for a prestigious national book award. Brewing Revolution is on the long list for the National Business Book Award, a $30,000 prize, which is given to the author of the most outstanding Canadian business-related book published in 2016.

Signed copies can be bought from the author for $25 plus $5 postage: Frank Appleton,’455 Robinson Road, R.R.#1, Edgewood BC V0G 1J0. The book is also available through the online bookstore amazon.ca.

 

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