S.O.B. — Save Our Beer

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Maybe the guy in the Molson Canadian commercials is right. I’m starting to think that Canadians actually don’t know anything about beer — which would explain why we don’t care that all of our breweries are being bought up by multi-nationals.

The Labatt family of beer — which includes Keith’s, 50 and Kokanee — is owned by InBev, a multi-national that owns dozens of other brands like Stella Artois, Bass and Budweiser. Molson was bought up by Coors a few years ago and Sleeman was recently acquired by Japan’s Sapporo.

Like me, the president of Moosehead Breweries (based in N.B.) is alarmed by this trend. He points out:

 

“Close to 90 per cent of all beer sold in Canada today is controlled by foreign brewers. This is probably the highest percentage in the world.”

Now, Waterloo, Ontario’s Brick brewery is putting itself up for sale and who the hell know who will buy them. Their beer sucks, so I wouldnt’ be surprised if someone in the states bought them.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Canadians have been pretty ambivalent when it comes to selling off our national brands. Eatons, The Bay, Fairmont Hotels and CN rail are just a few our non-beer home-grown brands that have been sold off or dismantled over the past decade.

You can argue that it doesn’t matter who owns the beer as longs as it’s 5% alcohol or more and doesn’t contain syringes. But I’ve always taken pride in our beer, so I’m disappointed by how little we control the stuff that appears on our store shelves.

At least Moosehead — my favourite — is still Canadian-owned. And Maritime no less. Woot.

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