Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Exciting News For Ontario Beer Drinkers From NAC

Tree Brewing Co.,from Kelowna, BC, were thrilled to hear that the LCBO would be ordering pallets of their Hop Head Double IPA for the Specialty release this past spring, but were nervous about how well it would sell in this market.

I can remember having a conversation with Tree's Sales Director, Chris Stirling, before the beer arrived here and told him not to worry; the beer wouldn't last long. It didn't. A mere week went by with all but 10 or so cases remaining in the province leaving Tree happy, but left drinkers wanting more.

Then came April 1st. Stirling, along with Tree's Brewmaster, Stefan Buhl, made their way to Toronto to meet with the LCBO Beer Category and to do a number of meet and greet tastings at to Toronto flagship stores. Stirling had brought a case of Tree's regular IPA (Hop Head IPA) and mentioned that they had been working hard behind the scenes to get a listing here in Ontario.

Seeing that the sales of the Double IPA were so swift, the LCBO decided to give the Hop Head a chance and gave Tree a general listing in May.

This is where North American Craft (NAC) comes in. As mentioned here a number of times, Claude Lefebvre, owner of NAC, has been focusing on getting his clients (Black Oak, Denison's, Propeller, Stratford, Paddock Wood, and most recently Brooklyn and Rogue Ales) more shelf space at LCBO locations across the province. The people at Tree were looking for a company that could represent them at the retail level and today they've announced that North American Craft was chosen for the task.

From Lefebvre earlier today:
"We are very proud to announce the latest signing of Tree Brewery that we'll be managing and supporting with infield sales support here at the LCBO market in Ontario," said Lefebvre.

"Tree Brewery has a strong reputation with producing amazing craft beers and we are proud to be working with one of their finest - Hop head IPA!  The Ontario market is looking for bigger and bolder beers and Hop Head is a brand that will complement our (NAC) family of beers. We look forward to representing Tree (only independent craft brewery from BC at the LCBO) at the LCBO conventional stores here in the province."

Lefebvre also mentioned that while NAC's main focus will be the Hop Head, his group will work with Tree and their seasonal program, hoping to bring a number of their other brands to Ontario stores in the future.

You can follow up on NAC's website with the latest brands and also on Facebook.

1 comment:

Ian said...

I questioned NAC about their listings of Rogue and he told me only the Toronto Area. I questioned him as to why other communities, Hamilton, weren't getting the new beers listed and he said the LCBO decides. The LCBO isn't realizing that Hamilton has a large craft brew following and they aren't looking at the opportunity to increase sales by offering new beers in the area.

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