PERTH, ON – The Hamilton Spectator reports that Canadian brewing industry veteran Bill Sharpe has died at age 88.
Sharpe worked at several brewing and beverage companies through the 1970s and 1980s, including Pacific Western Brewing, Carling O’Keefe, and Santa Fe Beverages, but is best known as the founder, president and CEO of Lakeport Brewing, which he established in 1992 in partnership with Cott Beverages.
Located in a former Amstel plant in Hamilton, Lakeport quickly became one of the biggest independent breweries in Canada, with two lines of beer developed in partnership with Dave Nichol – the President’s Choice brands launched when Nichol was president of Loblaws, and the Dave Nichol’s Personal Selection label from his time with Cott – were especially popular.
Sharpe left Lakeport in 2000, a year after it had been acquired by AlphaCorp Holdings, and went on to work with Northern Breweries in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie for several years, and as a consultant with other breweries.
Lakeport was sold to Labatt Breweries in 2007, and the plant was closed down in 2010, with production of the Lakeport brands moved to Labatt’s London facility where they are still being made today. The building sat empty for several years before reopening in 2015 as a joint venture between Nickel Brook Brewing and Collective Arts Brewing, with the latter becoming sole owner two years later.
Sharpe passed away in Perth, Ontario on March 21, the same day that he turned 88. He’s survived by his wife Jean, two daughters, two sons, two stepsons, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
For more details, see his full obituary.
Source: Hamilton Spectator