Category Archives: Brewery News

Beau’s/De Koningshoeven Collaboration Affected By Ash Cloud

VANKLEEK HILL, ONBeau’s All Natural Brewing has announced that their planned collaboration with Dutch Trappist brewery De Koningshoeven has  been affected by the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland that has caused flight cancellations to and from Europe.

Due to these cancellations, De Koningshoeven brewmaster Lodewijk Swinkels will unfortunately be unable to fly to Canada, and will not be participating in tomorrow’s brewing session at Beau’s in person as planned.

However, Swinkels will be communicating with Beau’s brewmaster Matt O’Hara via phone and email, and the brew will go ahead as a remote collaboration, allowing it to be available in May as originally intended.


Beau’s To Collaborate With Dutch Brewery De Koningshoeven

VANKLEEK HILL, ON – This Wednesday, April 21st, Beau’s All Natural Brewing will be welcoming Lodewijk Swinkels, brewmaster of De Koningshoeven Brewery in The Netherlands, who will join Beau’s brewmaster Matt O’Hara to craft a unique one-off beer. This rare event will mark the first time that a Canadian brewery has collaborated with one of the world’s seven Trappist breweries.

The partnership was arranged by the Dutch Embassy in Ottawa to marks the 65th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. The resulting beer will be officially launched during royal visit of Princess Margriet to Ottawa in May, and will be available exclusively at the House of Orange festival of Dutch and Canadian creative culture, taking place at Mercury Lounge in Ottawa on May 10th to 23rd.

Labatt Shutters Lakeport Plant Early, Boycott Being Urged

HAMILTON, ON – The Hamilton Spectator reports that Labatt Breweries quietly shut down the Lakeport Brewing plant in Hamilton last Friday, April 16th, two weeks earlier than initially planned:

Labatt spokesman Jeff Ryan said in an e-mail it decided to shut the plant early because work on transferring Hamilton’s production volume to London was ahead of schedule. Spokeswoman Catherine Pringle said the firm “didn’t feel there was a reason” to make the sudden closure public unless it was contacted by the media because it had spoken to the union and “all parties involved.”

In response to the closure, as well as Labatt’s plans to strip the plant of all equipment that would allow another brewery to take over the location, a number of bar owners and beer drinkers in Hamilton are calling for a boycott of all Labatt products. In addition, provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has vowed to continue lobbying the governing Liberals to intervene with Labatt on behalf of the now unemployed workers.

Media Coverage of Lakeport Closure Continues

HAMILTON, ON – While it’s been more than 2 weeks since Labatt Breweries announced plans to close down their Lakeport Brewing plant in Hamilton, media coverage has continued.

There’s been a flurry in the last couple of days in particular due to several parties – including Minhas Creek Brewing Company – approaching the city to express interest in taking over the facility, although Labatt is standing by their plan to remove all of the brewing equipment, rendering the plant useless to any competing brewing company.

Here are links to a few stories and articles that cover various aspects of the situation:

Calgary firm wants to buy Lakeport brewery (The Hamilton Spectator – April 12th)
Buyers lining up for Lakeport brewery (The Hamilton Spectator – April 13th)
Calgary siblings bid for Lakeport site (The Globe & Mail – April 13th)
Boxer beer in Hamilton? (The Toronto Sun – April 13th)
Labatt Lakeport move not competition violation: experts (The Hamilton Spectator – April 14th)
Suds battle starts to bubble (The Hamilton Spectator – April 14th)
The Labatt blues (The Hamilton Spectator – April 14th)

Propeller Brewing Increases Capacity, Adds Hefeweizen To Year-Round Line-Up

HALIFAX, NSPropeller Brewing has announced plans to increase their brewing capacity, in part to allow them to promote last summer’s popular seasonal beer, Propeller Hefeweizen, to a year-round product.

A new 6000 litre fermenter, as well as a new keg washing system, are expected to arrive this week. Over the past three years the brewery has added 6 fermenters totaling 27000 liters, as well as upgraded packaging equipment.

Propeller Hefeweizen will be available in six-packs at the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) on May 1.

Labatt to Close Lakeport Brewery in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ONLabatt Breweries announced today that it is closing the Lakeport Brewing plant in Hamilton as of April 30th, and will be shifting production of the Lakeport brands to its London facility.

In a statement, Labatt said that the move is “the result of the need to improve operating efficiency in a demanding market”, and is the “only rational business decision available to us”. The closure will result in the loss of jobs for 143 workers, including 99 hourly and 22 salaried who are currently working, as well as another 22 who are laid off.

Labatt purchased the Lakeport brewery and brands in February, 2007 in order to capture a large percentage of Ontario’s lucrative discount/”buck-a-beer” market.

More details have been reported by the Toronto Star and London Free Press.

UPDATE: The Hamilton Spectator reports that “the (brewing) equipment in the building will be hauled away” by Labatt after the closure. This will make it difficult, if not impossible, for another brewery to be established in the facility.

Brick Expands Distribution to Atlantic Canada

WATERLOO, ONBrick Brewing has announced a new sales agent agreement with AMCA Sales & Marketing, a company that specializes in the marketing, promotion and distribution of food and drink products in Atlantic Canada.

This new deal, which will continue to the end of 2012, will allow Brick’s various beer brands to be distributed in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland via each province’s government liquor corporation.

Neither Brick nor AMCA has announced yet which brands will be launched in which provinces, but it’s a safe bet that Brick’s flagship lager, Red Baron, will likely be one of the first to be introduced in the new markets.

Moosehead Breweries and Boston Beer Company Announce Distribution Deal

TORONTO, ON – At a news conference today in Toronto, Boston Beer Company Founder Jim Koch and Moosehead Breweries President Andrew Oland announced a five-year distribution agreement that will see Moosehead and its subsidiary, The Premium Beer Company, assuming Canadian distribution of Boston Beer’s portfolio including its flagship brand Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Previously distributed in Canada by Sleeman Breweries, Boston Lager will be available in all ten provinces via Moosehead/Premium, and will be offered in both bottles (355 ml) and kegs (30 and 58.6 litre). Popular seasonal beer Samuel Adams Summer Ale will follow this summer, also in bottles and kegs, with other seasonal offerings and variety packs being considered for future release. All Samuel Adams beer sold in Canada will continue to be brewed by Boston Beer in the United States.

Moosehead Breweries and Boston Beer Company are the largest independent and fully domestically-owned brewing companies in Canada and the U.S.  respectively, with Moosehead being owned by the Oland family since its founding in 1867.

Northern Breweries Property Sold, May Become New Brewery

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Both The Sault Star and are reporting that the former Northern Breweries plant in Sault Ste. Marie has been sold to a new company, and may be reopened as a new brewery at some point in the future.

At one point a large co-operative of breweries located in five towns and cities in Northern Ontario, the company had shrunk to a single brewery in Sault Ste. Marie before shutting down in 2006. The property was seized by the city due to unpaid taxes, and this week, a sale of the building to a group of local businessmen was approved.

According to reports, the sale price was $511,000, with the proceeds being split between the municipal, provincial and federal governments as payment towards various liens on the property.

No details have been released about the identity of the new owners, and their plans or timelines for restoring operations at the plant.

Old Yale Brewing Up For Sale

CHILLIWACK, BC – Owner and brewmaster Larry Caza has put Old Yale Brewing up for sale.

Those interested can contact Caza at 604.819.5200 or for more information.