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Friday, April 17, 2009

Keith's Brewed in BC?

I woke up this morning and read this story from the Halifax Metro. It seems Nova Scotia will now be sharing brewing duties with British Columbia for Alexander Keith IPA, which does not sit well with some Halifax residents.

Keith's, which is owned by Oland, who are owned by Labatt, who is owned by AmBev/A-B, have stated that they can't keep up with demand so they will be assigning some production to their BC brewery in Creston.

As some of you readers may know, I used to work for Labatt's many years ago in Halifax, and even then I always wondered how they could produce all the Keith's in the Oland Brewery?

Click here for story, or read below.

Alexander Keith's to open second brewery in B.C.

April 16, 2009 12:50 a.mThose who like it, buy it a lot.

So much so that Alexander Keith’s, a beer closely tied to Nova Scotia, will now be brewed in British Columbia as well.

Labatt Breweries announced yesterday that Keith’s is doing so well it will begin brewing the beer in Creston, B.C. to service markets west of Ontario.

“The brand became the No. 1 draft brand in Ontario. It’s the No. 1 specialty beer in Canada,” said Richard Musson, the vice-president of marketing for Labatt.

“As we looked forward five years we’d see the brand getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And you start to say, 'well does it make sense to transport beer from one side of the continent to the other?'”

The change means the Halifax brewery will make less Keith’s, but more Budweiser and Bud Light for the Quebec market. There will be an overall drop in Halifax production by four per cent but no jobs will be affected in either brewery.

Labatt said Keith’s will only be sold after a rigorous quality control process to ensure it tastes exactly the same. Keith’s brew master Graham Kendall will go to Creston to teach the brewing recipe and process.

Musson said the beer will still be an ambassador of Nova Scotia.

“Everyone always knows Guinness is Irish, although a lot of it doesn’t actually come from Ireland,” Musson said.

“We’re never going to take the Nova Scotia out of Keith’s. Without Nova Scotia this brand wouldn’t be so successful.”

Musson said that one in four beers drank in Nova Scotia is a Keith’s product. Market shares are confidential, but NSLC spokesman Rick Perkins called Keith’s “by far the largest beer” with a “quite huge” market share.

“It’s just a dominant brand, and you see that by the footprint it’s given in our stores,” he said.


Alan said...

"...Market shares are confidential, but NSLC spokesman Rick Perkins called Keith’s “by far the largest beer” with a “quite huge” market share..."

Why wouldn't this information be available under freedom of information law? There is no trade secret in the sales figures.

Rob Creighton said...

In Canada, sales #'s have always been a massive trade secret. It's part of the Canadian credo of 'perception is reality' so they can gouge us for outrageous profits ($10.00/case more than the market would dictate). This don't work in the states which is why Labatt is such a massive profit center for Inbev

Troy Burtch said...

Alan - I was thinking the same thing, but for Ontario, the Beer Store is a private company (as we all know) so they do not have to release sales #'s to the public. As for Canada??

Provincial liquor stores? I may have to give the FOI think another go.

Lager Bore said...

Specialty Beer? Heh.

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