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I would like to thank Hank Rabe for his tireless effort to get all this information on the Princeton Brewing Co. Ltd. I had asked him if he could find any pictures and information on the company, not knowing how hard it would be. But Hank came through. Thank you Hank.

I would also like to thank the other people who supplied pictures for this page as well:
  • Hank Rabe
  • Ralph Anderson
  • Kevin Duddy
  • Trudy Jarvis
  • Bruce Harger
  • Les McKenzie
  • Ted Cook
  • Gerri Logan
  • Hedley Heritage Musuem
  • Brian Reid

Without all of your assistance, this web page could not be possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
from Hank Suderman (Webmaster)

Princeton Brewing Company Ltd.

The Brewery started just west of Hedley about 1900, the bottles had Similk-A-meen Bottling works, Hedley City & Princeton in raised letters on the bottles. In the fall of 1907 the brewery was moved to Princeton, the main owner was Jack Molone. Rudolph Gustilluski may have been the first brewmaster in Princeton. In 1936 the Brewery was sold to A. McLennan of United Distilleries Ltd. (UDL) of New Westminster B.C. for $80,000.

UDL operated the Brewery under the name of Princeton Brewery Co. Ltd. from 1936 to 1957. George Schisler became brewmaster from 1936 to 1955. George's son Stan went to Chicago School of Brewmasters for advance training. Stan became Brewmaster from 1955 to 1958. During these years the brewery had several expansions. At the site of the Brewery there was a huge sandstone cave. This cave was used as a storage room for the fine Princeton beer which was ageing in the "old cave" It could hold 24 rail cars of beer. Up to 1949 most of the beer was shipped out by rail. The Brewery owned a Dodge truck with a Van for deliveries and a small International 1 ton flat deck which was driven by Nick Oreskovich.

After the opening of the Hope-Princeton highway Nov. 2, 1949 the Brewery bought there own small fleet of trucks. In 1952 they had 5 Mercury Big job 5 ton tractors with trailers,
  • 1- IH KB-11 tandam staight truck with Van for deliveries to the Okanagan and local.
  • 1- Ford single axle dump truck for hauling barley malt away to local farms for feed.

The trailers had several white crosses painted on the front sides and back so the public would know that the drivers had First-Aid and could help any motorist on the highway that needed First-Aid. The Ford trucks with trailers would haul beer to New Westminster, UDL wherehouse, the drivers would lay over in Vancouver for the night. Next day they would pick up a load of empty bottles new and used, cardboard for beer cartons and head back to Princeton, some times they would pick up a load of hops in Chillwack to bring back.

In 1955 Princeton Brewery bought a Hayes Cab over diesel for team drivers to haul north to Prince George and Dawson Creek B.C. This was a prefered run since it paid $2.00 per hr. weather you were driveing or sleeping. Les McKenzie and Louis Cappos were one of the team drivers. There were a lot of Greyhound bus drivers that always had there name on a list wanting to drive the Brewery trucks. In 1957 Public Freightways started hauling Princeton beer all over the Province.

In 1957, A. McLennan of UDL sold Princeton Brewery to his own Company for $360,000. In 1958 it was sold again to Cariboo Brewery of Prince George B.C. Which was purchased by Calgary Brewing Co. which in turn was owned by Canadian Breweries Ltd. In 1960 Princeton Brewery was closed and the buildings were demolished and the caves were also destroyed to make way for the new Hope road entrance into Princeton. Today it is doughtful if the citizens of Princeton would sit back and let such a historical monument to be destroyed.

Old brewery in Hedley being torn down 1908, after the Brewery was moved to Princeton.
Used with permission from the Hedley Heritage Museum
Princeton Brewery year unknown.
Used with permission from
Princeton Brewery taken around 1934 by J. Sutton
Used with permission from
First and Second truck that Princeton Brewery had, Eddie Anderson was one of the drivers. Ralph Anderson Collection Eddie Anderson beside the truck he drove, 1938.
Ralph Anderson Collection
Two more Brewery trucks, Eddie Anderson sitting on the second truck, and two of Princeton's nice ladies on front truck. Ralph Anderson Collection Three Brewery trucks in the Brewery yard. First two were used for out of town deliveries and the third truck was used as an in town truck. Ralph Anderson Collection

Older Ford Left. Ralph Gelletley, driver, and Earl Cornish. Ted Cook Collection IH KB-11 tandem and two Mercury Big Jobs. drivers Charlie Bond and Gordon Currie. Ted Cook Collection Len Harker sitting on a Princeton Brewery truck in 1943. Len Harker Collection.
1954 three brewery trucks at Skagit Bluffs, road was closed due to an accident, so the drivers climbed up to take a picture or 2. Les McKenzie Collection
1951 Mercury Big Job M-8 5 ton, Skagit Bluffs on the Hope Princeton Highway. photo 1952. Les McKenzie Collection. Driver Les McKenzie with his daughter on 1951 Mercury Big Job 1952. Les McKenzie Collection Two Mercury Big Job trucks and trailers Hope-Princeton highway 1952

1955 or 1956 accident involving a Princeton Brewing Co. Ltd. Mercury tractor/trailer near Fry's Corner.
This is where the Trans Canada Highway (at that time) crossed Highway 15 north of Cloverdale, BC. The truck was new at the time.
Les McKenzie Collection

Les McKenzie and Stan Garrason Princeton Brewery drivers on a lay over in Vancouver. Les McKenzie Collection Les McKenzie and Gordon Currie in Vancouver on a lay over.Les McKenzie Collection
IH tandem truck and trailer Public Freightways Photo Public Freightways 1950's Kenworth with a Princeton Brewery trailer.
A Hayes truck belonging to Public Freightways. Taken in 1959. This truck once belonged to Princeton Brewing Co. Same Public Freightways Hayes different load. Taken in 1959. International truck belonging to Public Freightways and the trailer once belonged to Princeton Breweries of Princeton, BC.
Short article about Princeton Brewing Co. Ltd. taken from a 1950 Motor Carrier Magazine. The driver who was assigned to this truck was Bill Muir. A few ads for Princeton Brewing Co. Ltd taken from some 1949 and 1950 Motor Carrier Magazines
White truck and trailer 1950 parked in front of the Great Northern Hotel in Hedley. Driver Bill Muir.
Used with permission from the Hedley Heritage Museum
Joe McDermot and Brenda.
Gerri Logan Collection.
Norma Gelletley, Gerri McDermot, Brenda Crimmons and Ralph Gelletley. Gerri Logan Collection.
Ralph and Norma Gelletley in front of a Princeton Brewery 1951 Mercury truck.
Gerri Logan Collection.
Norma, Gerri, Brenda and Norm Crimmon.
Gerri Logan Collection.
Princeton Brewery #2
1951 Mercury Big Job M-8 5 ton

About two years after this collection of pictures from The Princeton Brewing Comany was put on this web site,
Brian Reid send us the labels from some of these products produced by The Princeton Brewing Company.
Old Gold Lager Imported label Old Gold Lager
Old Dublin Ale Royal Export Beer
High Life Beer Royal Export Beer

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