Fonds F-314 - Dave Smith fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Dave Smith fonds

General material designation

  • Textual records
  • Artefacts
  • Graphic materials

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Edition area

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • [195-]-2020 (Dates of document)
    Smith began collecting beer-related materials in the early 2000s, but some of the artefacts and documents collected themselves date back to ca. 1950s.
  • [199-]-2020 (Creation)
    Smith, Dave

Physical description area

Physical description

25 cm of textual records
ca. 200 beer bottles
ca. 160 coasters
ca. 80 tap handles
ca. 65 magazine / newspaper issues
21 posters
6 wooden signs

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dave Smith is a beer journalist and publisher based in British Columbia's Lower Mainland. Since 2015 Smith has edited and published What's Brewing Magazine, the journal of BC's craft beer movement.

Smith was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1965. After his family relocated to BC, Smith went on to study Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (1982-1984) and Business Management and Communications at BCIT (1992-1994). During the late 1980s and 1990s Smith worked at technology-related businesses, eventually focussing around the Internet. He established Dave Smith Consulting Services in 1999, which eventually evolved into web services company Line49 Design Group Inc., where Smith continues as principal.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Smith became interested in craft beer and the collection of breweriana (items such as beer bottles) as a hobby. With his wife Ivana he found a shared passion for beer tourism and soon began attending beer festivals and related events. The pair joined the fledgling Vancouver branch of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia (CAMRA BC) in 2005, at which point they began volunteering at beer events regularly. Smith also served as a technical consultant for CAMRA Vancouver, establishing their website’s domain name and email system.

By 2013, this activity had sparked an interest in beer writing that led to contributions to CAMRA BC's long-running magazine-style newsletter, What's Brewing. When it suspended publication in 2014, Smith and other contributors found themselves without a forum for beer writing in BC. By tapping into the web publishing resources available through Line49 Design, Smith was able to evolve What’s Brewing into a digital-first magazine. Through the remainder of the 2010s, dozens of BC craft beverage enthusiasts and professionals would voluntarily contribute to this new platform, which eventually included a comprehensive weekly newsletter, events calendar, Tasting Panel and profiles of numerous BC craft community members.

In 2018, Line49 also took over publication of Beer Me BC—a website founded in 2012 which had become BC’s most prominent source of ongoing beer reviews, job postings and resources. At the end of 2020, What's Brewing joined its sister publication as an online-only service, and the pair of websites continue to be sources of BC craft brewing community news via web and social media.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records made or received by Dave Smith in his activities as publisher and editor of What's Brewing Magazine since 2015; and as a participant in the BC craft beer scene since the early 2000s; and as a collector of BC breweriana during this period. Records include issues of What's Brewing (BC) and correspondence and planning documents relating to the magazine; documentation on British Columbia breweries, beer festivals and events; and artefacts including posters, beer bottles, tap handles, coasters and other brewery merchandise and collectibles. Periodicals collected include a run of CAMRA Canada's What's Brewing newsletter (1983-1989), issues of the Northwest Brewing News (1997-2019), and a single issue of the British Columbia Craft Beer News (vol. 1, no. 1 2013).

The fonds is arranged into five series:

  • What's Brewing (BC) Magazine files, 2015-2020 (series 1)
  • Correspondence and brewery information files, 1993-2016 (series 2)
  • Beer festival and event files, 1993-2018 (series 3)
  • Beer periodicals, 1983-2019 (series 4)
  • Beer artefacts and collectibles, [ca. 195-]-[201-] (series 5)

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The Archives approached Smith in 2021 as a resource partner for planning its BC's brewing history archives initiative. Smith donated the bulk of the materials in this fonds in 2021, with an additional transfer in 2023.


Records arising from Smith's activities as publisher and editor of What's Brewing are located in series 1. The remaining series mainly reflect Smith's activities as a collector and are based on the physical format or subject-matter of the materials collected.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

All files and items are open with no access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright applies to materials in the fonds, and copyright ownership is mixed. Dave Smith retains his own copyright in works he himself authored and, as publisher, Smith also retains any copyrights owned by What's Brewing Magazine (following the 2015 relaunch). Under the terms of the Donation Agreement, Smith make these works available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC BY-NC). The fonds also includes copyright-protected works created by third parties, e.g. brewery materials and artefacts Smith collected. Neither Smith nor SFU holds the copyright for these materials. The Archives may make copies available for private study or research purposes under the fair dealing provisions of Canada's Copyright Act, but use for any other purpose may require the permission of the copyright owner. SFU Archives can assist researchers in attempting to identify copyright owners, but it is the user's responsibility to contact owners and secure any required permissions.

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

SFU Archives holds a number of fonds and collections relating to the history of beer and brewing in BC. See the BC Beer History Archive page on the Archives' website for more information.

Related materials


Further accruals may occur in the future.

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Rules or conventions

Canadian Rules for Archival Description (RAD), 2008 edition.



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

November 2023: fonds first arranged and described.

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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