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 2016, FreshTAP and its Winery Partners eliminated the need for over 1 million bottles since inception.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, with an operational expansion in Ontario, FreshTAP is both the pioneer and leader in the wine-on-tap movement in Canada.
FreshTAP Head Office & Kegging Facility
1575 Vernon Drive
Vancouver BC, V6A 3P8
Mike Macquisten, Co-Founder & CEO
Mike Macquisten started his career in the hospitality industry during his time at the University of British Columbia. Mike worked in sales and marketing roles with major brewer Molson-Coors Canada for 3 years, followed by spirits maker Corby Distilleries Ltd. for another 3 years. Mike and his now business partner, Steve Thorp, started a product sourcing and marketing business called The Antidote which specialized in creating and implementing unique marketing products for large national liquor brands. A year later, Mike and Steve were fatefully introduced to the rapidly growing trend of wine-on-tap in the United States and decided to bring the category to life in the Canadian marketplace. Today, Mike is the CEO and Managing Partner of FreshTAP, a custom wine kegging provider for a growing number of premium wineries. Founded in 2011, FreshTAP has expanded the wine-on-tap category to hundreds of locations in Western Canada thus far. Mike is also the Co-Founder of the Vancouver Urban Winery in the Railtown neighbourhood of Vancouver.
David Ledderhof, MSc, PEng, General Manager
David joined the FreshTAP team in 2014 and is responsible for the daily operations of FreshTAP. He is the primary contact point for winery partners, and performs all quality assurance & lab analysis to ensure that the wines in the kegs meet the high expectations of the winemakers. He oversees food safety and sanitation programs, as well as the development of new and innovative processes and procedures. He has over a decade of wine industry experience in Ontario and BC, with a Masters in Oenology & Viticulture from Brock University. He has become an expert in navigating the provincial liquor boards in Western Canada, as well as new product development and alternative packaging.
Steve Thorp, Co-Founder
Steve began his entrepreneurial career early, founding his first business at the age of 20 while studying business at Capilano University. That business, ST Marketing was a sales and marketing venture in the action sports industry. After 6 years working throughout Canada representing brands from all over the world, Steve moved on to develop The Antidote with Mike Macquisten, a unique marketing agency working with some of the most influential beer, liquor and sports brands in the world. While traveling for clients Steve and Mike began to study the fast growing wine-on-tap category in San Francisco and New York. It did not take long to see the opportunity in Canada to bring this industry changing technology to a new market. Thus FreshTAP was born. Steve has passed on his operational responsibilities to new members of the team, making room to operate and lead The Settlement Building and the collective of brands under that umbrella.
Dave Fisher, Business Development Manager
Dave has been so busy on the road spreading the word about wine-on-tap that he hasn’t had time to write a bio yet. He is experienced in restaurant operations management and wine sales, and is available now to explain all of FreshTAP’s benefits and answer any questions you may have about the rapidly expanding wine-on-tap market.
Charles Chang, Board Member
Charles is a born entrepreneur with a passion for innovation, active living and mentoring. Charles is the President and Founder of Lyra Growth Partners which was started in September 2015. Prior to Lyra, Charles was the President and Founder of Vega. Started from scratch from his basement in 2004 and financed by his life savings, a second mortgage on his house and four credit cards, Charles lead Vega to become an iconic lifestyle brand of clean, plant-based nutritional products sold in over 20,000 stores across North America. Honoring a triple bottom line approach to business and recognizing people were the company’s greatest source of competitive advantage, Vega and Charles have received many accolades and awards, including: Profit 100 Fastest Growing Companies, Best Workplaces, BIV 40 Under 40, Canada’s Best Managed Companies and E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2016, Charles joined the Board of Directors for FreshTAP. Charles lives in Vancouver, BC and is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), an avid mountain biker, skier and Whistlerite wannabe.
FreshTAP currently operates out of 1575 Vernon Drive in Vancouver. As the pioneer of wine-on-tap, 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 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