Fonds F-329 - Mitch Taylor fonds

Workshop area during construction The raised tiled area awaiting the arrival of the Krones bottling line Installing the bottling line. Note the unfinished retail store and Bob McKecknie (engineer and fo... Turk Whitehead, general manager, in the brewery The shiny new Krones bottling line from Germany Pallets of beer cases and bags of malt barley Steve Whitehead and Joann. Pre-opening view from brewhouse into retail store Preparing the retail store in May 1984: Steve Whitehead and unidentified employee with mop The brewhouse, with store area further back Brewhouse Pressurized fermenting and aging tanks, all with cooling jackets Brewmaster Rainer Kallahne in his office/lab in 1984 Turk Whitehead (general manager) Joann, Lydia Taylor (age 11) and Jillian Taylor (10) Granville Island Brewing store clerk with Lydia Taylor (age 11) and Joann Larry Sherwood with Mitch's daughters, Jillian and Lydia, in the Granville Island Brewing retail ... Mitch Taylor, CEO, doing a sales transaction in the Granville Island Brewing retail store in 1984 The new Krones bottling line being installed in 1984/1985 Pressurized fermenting and aging tanks, all with cooling jackets Brewmaster Rainer Kallahne cleaning up after brewing Larry Sherwood, marketing guru and founding partner, in the brewhouse Larry Sherwood 'supervising' as Rainer Kallahne cleans up after brewing Bob McKecknie (nickname Bob Mc3), our engineer and founding partner, and brewmaster Rainer Kallahne Opening Day, June 9, 1984. Bill Harvey, King Ganong, Mitch Taylor, and Larry Sherwood. King Ganon... Michael Tyner and Kenton Preston. The retail store manager and brewery sales manager going over o... Fancy new computer Fax machine Customers at a free tasting of Granville Island Bock after a tour of the brewery Customers at a free tasting of Granville Island Bock after a tour of the brewery A retail four pack of Island Bock sold to possibly a German connoisseur Granville Island Brewing employee pouring beer samples right after a tour has ended
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Mitch Taylor fonds

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  • Multi-media

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Dates of creation area


  • 1972-2013, predominant 1984-1992 (Creation)
    Taylor, Mitch

Physical description area

Physical description

22.2 cm of textual records
4 cm of graphic material
88 photographs
1 contact sheet
114 artefacts

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Mitchell J. (Mitch) Taylor was born on September 7, 1944 to Thomas and Florence Taylor, in Fort Frances Ontario. He was the fifth of the couple’s nine children. In 1952, at the age of seven, Taylor and his older brother Bob went to live with Alexander and Winnifred Brown on their farm near Regent, Manitoba to attend school and help on the farm.

Taylor lived with the Browns until the fall of 1962, when he began Bachelor of Science studies at the University of Manitoba. During the summers he held various jobs, including sweeping up nickel dust at the International Nickel Company of Canada mine smelter in Thompson, Manitoba and welding assistant on the TransCanada natural gas pipeline in Saskatchewan. After graduating from university in 1965, Taylor travelled through Europe before securing a job with Imperial Oil as an Industrial Sales Representative based in Kamloops, B.C.

On June 10, 1967, Taylor married Anne Franklin, his former classmate at Dand High School and a recent University of British Columbia graduate. The couple later had two daughters, Lydia and Jillian. The Taylors initially lived in Kamloops, with Anne teaching school locally. In 1969, Taylor became BC sales manager for Imperial Oil and was transferred to the Vancouver head office. He was promoted to a financial analyst role for the province in 1970, and in 1971 he became the Assistant to the Petroleum Products Committee of Imperial Oil, based in the Toronto office.

In 1972, Taylor resigned from Imperial Oil to embark on a new business venture in Vancouver with partner Bill Harvey. Purchasing the former Monsanto Chemical buildings on Granville Island for $18,000.00, the partners established Creekhouse Industries. They also received approval to build a 400-berth marina on the north shore of False Creek, west of the Cambie Street Bridge. While successfully lobbying for the revitalization of Granville Island, Taylor and Harvey fully renovated the Monsanto buildings, opening them as The Creekhouse in the winter of 1972. Their second venture, False Creek Marinas, began operations the following year in 1973 and immediately had a waitlist. After more than a decade of success, the land it occupied was expropriated by the BC government for Expo 86 and the marina was demolished.

By 1981, Harvey and Taylor were looking for a new business venture and they settled upon the establishment of a German-style lager craft brewery on Granville Island. The first microbrewery in Canada, Granville Island Brewing (GIB) was officially opened on June 9, 1984, with a German, Rainer Kallahne, as brewmaster. It had an initial capacity of 5000 hectolitres (125,000 cases) of beer per year. Bill Harvey eventually pulled out of the brewery operations. Taylor continued to operate as President and CEO until 1989, when International Potters Distilling (owner of Calona Wines and Pacific Western Brewery) did a share exchange with GIB. This reduced Taylor’s shares from a majority position in GIB to a much smaller minority position in Potters. Taylor remained involved with GIB, taking on the position of VP Sales and Marketing for Potters for three years before resigning and selling his shares in 1992. Additional information about Granville Island Brewing can be found in Series F-329-4 Granville Island Brewing Company Limited records.

In January 1995, Taylor purchased Bellingham Marine Industries, becoming the company’s President and CEO. Under his ownership, the company expanded to twelve plants in eight countries and became a world leader in marina design, engineering and construction by the time Taylor sold it in 2006. From 2006 to 2016, Taylor sat on the Board of Directors for The Knowledge Network, and from 2009 to May 2017, Taylor was co-owner of Knight Signs in Delta, BC. Through all of this time, he has retained an ownership position in Creekhouse Industries. In 2021, Mitch Taylor wrote and published his autobiography titled Making Way: A Memoir, which details his personal and professional experiences to that time.

Custodial history

The bulk of the records were in the custody and control of Mitch Taylor prior to their transfer to Archives in 2022 and 2023. The mini-kegs were in the custody of Granville Island Brewing prior to their transfer to Archives by Mitch Taylor in 2022.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records made or received by Mitch Taylor in the course of his professional activities and business ventures from 1972 to 1992. The records relate primarily to Taylor's co-founding, development and operation of Granville Island Brewing Company Limited in Vancouver, BC from 1981 to April 1989; his time at the brewery in the role of VP Sales and Marketing for Potters Distilling from April 1989 to 1992; and his co-founding of Creekhouse Industries on Granville Island in 1972.

Fonds consists of textual records, graphic materials, photographic materials and artefacts, and is arranged into four series:

Notes area

Physical condition

Material is in good to excellent condition unless otherwise noted in the Physical condition notes field.

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Arrangement provided by the Archivist.

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Restrictions on access

The bulk of the files are open for access in the Archives reading room, with some files pending review - consult the reference archivist for more information.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright applies to the records in the fonds and copyright ownership is mixed. Taylor retains copyright in works he himself authored, and he agreed to make these available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC BY-NC). The records of Granville Island Brewing are included in the fonds and they likely hold the copyright to some of those materials. The fonds also includes copyright-protected works created by third parties, especially in Series 2 Press and publicity, Series 3 Correspondence, Sub-series 4-2 Marketing and promotion records and related material and Sub-series 4-5 Press and publicity. 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. 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 or assume all risks arising from not so doing.

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Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

August 2023: fonds first arranged and described (MH).

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  • English

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