Vintage beer labels collection highlighted in Globe
Coming on the heels of his story on the Tyrrell maps, Toronto journalist Ian Brown has again focused on a unique Fisher collection for a feature story in the Globe and Mail. This past weekend, in the Feb. 4 issue, Brown wrote on the intersection of beer and collecting when he goes out for a drink with noted "brewerianist" Larry Sherk. Last year, Sherk donated his collection of approximately 3,000 beer labels, many of them dating back to the 19th century, to the Fisher. His collection starts in 1871, with two beautifully preserved Dow Brewery labels from Montreal, and ends in the 1980s, with foil-faced labels from Carling O'Keefe.
"The more you look at Larry's labels, they more they tell you," writes Brown. "The collection has a beery, Proustian-prost effect, summoning ancient brands still remembered passionately in one region but unheard of everywhere else: Kuntz in Waterloo, Kiewel White Seal in Saint Boniface, Adanac in Regina, Big Horn in Calgary, Northwestern in Edmonton, Uncle Ben's in B.C., Red Ball in New Brunswick. Blue Top! Haig Caribou! Swill! When Edmonton's Northwest Brewing Company introduced Bohemian Maid beer, anyone could stop at the brewery for a free one."
Below are some examples of the labels. They can also be viewed on the Fisher's Flickr site: