FreshTAP was founded in February 2011 in Vancouver, BC by Mike Macquisten and Steve Thorp. After travelling throughout the USA researching the benefits of wine-on-tap poured from stainless steel kegs, the duo put the wheels in motion to begin Canada’s first custom keg packaging operation. Today, the company packages wine for many local and international wineries while supporting the marketing and education of the rapidly expanding wine-on-tap category. FreshTAP strives to innovate beyond the bottle and give wine lovers a better glass of wine, by eliminating spoiled & oxidized wine.
This process of kegging, preserving and serving wine-on-tap has been vetted and approved by the world’s most respected wineries.
FreshTAP’s innovative quality assurance standards and technology, together with our partners’ wine-certified parts and installations, ensure that the wine flowing out of the tap is exactly as the winemaker intended, from barrel to glass.
More than 150 wines are now available in FreshTAP stainless steel kegs and our system provides hospitality locations throughout Canada with an easy solution for delivering wine-on-tap to their customers.
Wine-on-tap from stainless steel kegs provides a sustainable, environmentally friendly wine delivery system and FreshTAP enables the wine and hospitality industries access to this uniquely green category. In 2013, FreshTAP kegs removed over 260 tons of bottles from landfills.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a new operational expansion in Ontario, FreshTAP is both the pioneer and leader in the wine-on-tap movement in Canada.
4041 Locust Lane
Brian Schmidt, President, Partner & Winemaking/Kegging at FreshTAP Ontario
For over two decades, winemaker, Brian Schmidt has faithfully served Vineland Estate Winery’s vineyards and cellars with a steady, farsighted view to promoting complete integration, natural synergies and reduced intervention. This holistic approach has resulted in specific tiers of wines that continue to voice a clear expression of time and place.
Brian Schmidt was born in Kelowna, British Columbia and was raised on a vineyard that had been in the family for three generations. The Schmidt family was one of the founding families of the Okanagan wine industry and this was the bedrock of Brian’s interest in winemaking. Brian has experimented, researched and has traveled extensively throughout Europe’s cool climate regions studying winemaking and the specific connections to the land. It is this intensive experience that has resulted in the creation of a winemaking style that has become Vineland Estates Winery’s signature.
Brian brings his many years of experience in premium winemaking techniques to the FreshTAP Ontario team. As the President and Winemaker for FreshTAP Ontario, Brian makes sure the wines kegged by FreshTAP Ontario are treated with the utmost care and precision to ensure wine is consumed exactly the way the winemaker intended.
Allan Schmidt, Partner – CFO of FreshTAP Ontario
Allan is third generation in his family in the Canadian wine industry with roots that reach back to his grandfather Frank, a well-respected grape and wine pioneer in British Columbia. A family commitment to innovative viticulture plus an unwavering dedication to a growing wine industry is the background of Allan’s earliest memories and remains his driving force today. In 1980, when Allan was 17, the Schmidt family became co-founders of Sumac Ridge Winery in the Okanagan Valley. This leading move was spearheaded by his parents Noreen and Lloyd, who have since played a significant role in shaping viticultural practices in Canada and the Eastern US.
After oenological training in California at Heitz Cellars and viticulture training in the Nahe region of Germany, Allan moved to Ontario in 1987 to take up the position of Winemaker and General Manager at Vineland Estates Winery. The family connection remains strong as Allan holds the position of President and works alongside his brother Brian, who has been Vineland Estates’ Winemaker for over 22 years. In 1993, the two of them dog sledded to the magnetic North Pole with several bottles of Icewine, claiming to be the first winemakers to take Icewine to the North Pole for polarized aging.
Allan holds many political positions in the wine industry including being Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario, and Director on the Canadian Vitners Association as well as the Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc., and CCOVI at Brock University. Allan is also Chair of the board for Niagara College, home of Canada’s first teaching winery. In addition to these roles Allan has continued to carry his family’s commitment to innovative viticulture by bringing wine-on-tap to the Ontario market. Allan has the expertise and knowledge to grow the wine-on-tap category in Eastern Canada.
Cameron West, Partner – Sales/Installations at FreshTAP Ontario
Cam brings over a dozen years of superior licensee service and sales experience, working closely with restaurants all over Ontario in his role as Licensee Sales Manager for Vineland Estates Winery.
As a Niagara native, plus with his education at Brock university that garnered him a post graduate degree in international business, Cam knew that he wanted to dedicate his working life to wine and more specifically, Ontario wine. Through Vineland Estates Winery, Cam was the first to introduce and establish wine-on-tap for the Ontario market.
With that valuable start up and operational experience, Cam is ready to educate, support and service licensees looking to enter the rapidly growing wine-on-tap market. Working closely with FreshTAP winery partners and suppliers, Cam assists the sales team to fully develop the wine-on-tap market for Ontario.
FreshTAP Ontario currently operates in the Niagara Peninsula Appellations. All of our equipment has been custom built for one purpose — packaging premium wines safely into kegs.
FreshTAP’s cleaning processes have been vetted by some of the world’s most sophisticated quality control teams and our standard operating procedures have been adopted from our partners in the United States; Free Flow Wines.
Our cleaning, filling, and tracking systems ensure that fine wine gets from the barrel to the tap, tasting exactly the way the winemaker intended. FreshTAP’s sophisticated 14-stage cleaning and sparging process ensures that every keg is absolutely sterile and wine-ready.
Our filling process goes through a 10-step sanitization and quality control process before any wine enters the system.
From the moment a keg enters our facility to the moment it is filled and shipped, our proprietary tracking system follows each keg and provides our clients detailed information about their wine.
With convenient operational locations in the heart of downtown Vancouver and Wine Country in Ontario, FreshTAP is well situated to continue to lead the wine-on-tap industry in Canada.
FreshTAP was founded on a principle: to reduce the carbon footprint of the wine industry and improve wine quality. One 19.5L keg eliminates the need for 26 wine bottles, as well as the corks, labels and cardboard boxes associated with the packaging.
- 304 Grade Stainless Steel
- 26 x 750ml bottles equivalent
- 660 ounces
- 132 five-ounces glasses
- 23.5” tall x 9″ wide
- 57.5 lbs full / 26 kgs full