Fonds F2387 - Molson Breweries. Western Division fonds

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Molson Breweries. Western Division fonds


  • 1892-1994 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

12.3 m of textual records.
498 photographs.
91 architectural plans.
1 video cassette

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Calgary Brewing and Malting Company Ltd. (CBMC), one of Calgary's longest surviving businesses, was founded by A.E. Cross in 1892. In 1893 the company produced its first beer, and registered its well-known buffalo head and horseshoe logo. In 1910 CBMC bought Golden West Brewery of Calgary. In 1925 it purchased Silver Spray Breweries of Calgary, and renamed it Big Horn Brewery. In 1952 it acquired Edmonton's North West Brewing Company, and renamed it Bohemian Maid in 1958. CBMC owned or financed many hotels across the province, in order to ensure a market for its beers. A subsidiary company, Ranchmen's Trust Company, was set up in 1912 to handle hotel purchases and mortgages. In 1957 the Alberta government required breweries to dispose of hotels, and many CBMC hotels were sold in the 1960s. A.E. Cross died in 1932 and his son, J.B. Cross, took over as president.

The Brewery under the Cross family was very community-oriented. It actively supported local sports through the Calgary Buffalo Athletic Association, developed the Brewery grounds as gardens for the enjoyment of Calgarians, and in 1938 established a Fish Hatchery. Two personal projects of J.B. Cross were the Aquarium, opened in 1960, and the Horsemen's Hall of Fame (a western heritage museum), opened in 1964. The Aquarium closed in 1972, and the Horsemen's Hall of Fame in 1975, at which time its artifacts were donated to Glenbow.

The Brewery was bought out by Canadian Breweries in 1961, although J.B. Cross remained president until his retirement in 1963. The company was subsequently bought by Rothman's in 1969, renamed Carling O'Keefe in 1973, purchased by Foster's Brewing of Australia in 1981, and finally taken over by Molson Breweries in 1989. It was closed in 1994.

For further information see "History of the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company" in Historical Resource Impact Assessment of the former Calgary Brewing & Malting Company site in Inglewood for Molson Breweries. -- Calgary : The Breweries, 1997.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Molson Breweries, Western Division, 1997 and 2001.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of administrative records of the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company and its successors, Canadian Breweries, Carling O'Keefe, and Molson Breweries, related to licencing, finances, marketing, shareholders, hotel system, union relations, and regulatory bodies. Also consists of financial records, inventories and liquidation papers of Silver Spray Breweries / Big Horn Brewery; and shareholders and financial records of North West Brewing / Bohemian Maid Brewing. Includes records related to sports sponsorships, the Aquarium, Horsemen's Hall of Fame, and the Fish Hatchery.

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Union grievances files are restricted for twenty years from the date of creation.

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Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

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Allied materials area

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Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The papers of A. E. Cross are also held by Glenbow, and contain official correspondence of the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company, 1892-1906. The Horsemen's Hall of Fame fonds is also held at Glenbow.

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Title based on contents of records.

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Thursday, May 31, 2018




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