Bluenose Ginger Ale

CAPITOL HI-GRADE

BEVERAGE COMPANY

CIRCA 1930’S TO 1973

HALIFAX

IN THE 1930’S, PAUL ABRAHAM AND HIS BROTHERS BEGAN MAKING SODA IN THEIR BASEMENT AND SELLING IT IN THEIR FATHER’S STORE. AS SALES PICKED UP, THEY STARTED CAPITOL BOTTLING CO. WHICH PAUL OWNED UNTIL HE VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE IN THE CANADIAN ARMY IN WWII.

AFTER SERVING AS A SARGENT IN THE WAR, PAUL RE-ENTERED THE SODA BUSINESS & STARTED HI-GRADE SODA. DETERMINED TO GET HIS FIRST COMPANY BACK, HE REPURCHASED CAPITOL AND THEN RE-NAMED THE COMPANY HI-GRADE BEVERAGE COMPANY.

IN 1831, W.J. ROUE PRODUCED ONE OF THE FIRST GINGER ALES IN CANADA. W.J.’S SON, WILLIAM WAS BORN IN 1879 AND FAMOUSLY GREW UP TO BECOME THE ARCHITECT OF THE SCHOONER BLUENOSE AND EVENTUALLY MARKETED THE FAMILY GINGER ALE UNDER THIS BRAND. AT SOME POINT IN THE 1940’S, ABRAHAM BOUGHT THE BLUENOSE GINGER ALE BRAND AND BEGAN PRODUCING THIS NOVA SCOTIAN ORIGINAL UNDER THE CAPITOL HI-GRADE BANNER.

IN THE 1950’S, OLAND BREWERY WANTED TO LAUNCH AN ICONIC NOVA SCOTIAN BEER AND ATTEMPTED TO PURCHASE THE BLUENOSE GINGER ALE BRAND SO THAT THEY COULD CREATE BLUENOSE BEER. PAUL ABRAHAM REFUSED TO SELL AT THAT POINT AND OLAND HAD TO SETTLE FOR SCHOONER BEER. DETERMINED TO ASSOCIATE HIS BREW WITH THE BLUENOSE, IN 1963 OLAND BUILT & LAUNCHED A REPLICA OF THE FAMOUS SCHOONER. CHRISTENED THE BLUENOSE II, IT WAS A SAILING AMBASSADOR FOR OLAND’S BREW UNTIL 1971 WHEN IT BECAME THE SAILING AMBASSADOR OF NOVA SCOTIA.

THE 1970’S SAW THE CONSOLIDATION OF MANY SMALL SODA MAKERS AND THE BEGINNING OF THE GLOBAL DOMINATION OF THE BIG BRANDS. PAUL ABRAHAM SOLD HI-CAP IN 1973, AND IN HIS LAST ACT OF RESPECT FOR HIS EMPLOYEES, MADE THEIR CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT A CONDITION OF SALE

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