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May 13, 2006


W L Mackenzie Redux

More worrying to those of us Canucks who may enjoy a strong Unibroue ale as a treat now and then, is the fact that SAB Miller or Coors could end up controlling Sleeman's B.C. Gem...Okanagan Springs Brewing...Canada's largest craft brewer of the darker, malty drinkable German style beer.

Okanagan having their beers "dumbed down" by mega-corp dictate would be a sin for us in the west as we drink more of these quaffable craft beers than we do the rich, celler-ready strong ales of Unibroue.

In larger optics, just from the perspective of a Canadian beer supporter/drinker, the intrusion of these international brewing conglomerates is more or less moot. The large national/international brewers stopped making a product that I thought was fit to drink decades ago and my patronage for the past decade or more has gone to the small local craft or micro brewers who were Sleeman's/Mol-Coor-Batt competition anyway. For those of us who have patronized the real beer revolution, a defunct Sleeman or an international corporate brewer take over of the 300 brand bland adjunct corporate beer universe will create a slight ripple that will pass and leave an even larger vacuum for the local craft brewers to fill.

Canadian brewing has essentially gone to a local level and less a national one for the past 15 years...the recent sell out of Canadian national brewing to international beverage cartels is just the final nail that makes it official. Most beer loving Canadians have switched to a local real beer crafter some time ago and the growth of the craft market shows this shift....only the old corporate dinosaurs still try to monopolize this dream of national brand domination....to be a succesful national mass market success, you have to produce a product that is far inferior to the local craft brewer's. Frankly, I think cultural evolution ( a wider public demand for good, natural, fresh, crafted beer) will eventually kill off the brewing goliaths...why do you think Molson had to hook up with Coors?...survival...why is Sleeman in the sink.....lost sales to better beer in the local craft and import markets.

As long as I have access to an all natural traditional brewed all malt craft beer, brewed fresh by a local craft brewer, Sleeman, Mol-Coor-Batt-SAB-Miller can implode on their own inability to cope with the beer culture shift.

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