Those 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.