Sleeman launched his namesake brewery in 1988, using updated versions of recipes developed at various breweries operated from 1836 to 1933 by his great-great-grandfather John H. Sleeman, great-grandfather George Sleeman, and other Sleeman family members. He sold the company to Japan’s Sapporo Breweries in 2006, but remained as CEO until 2010, and now serves as chairman.
“I am stunned. I just never think of myself in that light,” Sleeman told CBC News about the appointment. “I am very happy with what I do for a living. I’m very happy working away, helping people out in the community, and never thought it would come to the attention of anybody, let alone the governor general. So it was a great surprise and a great honour.”