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Brewer announces layoffs, Haligonians outraged

Those who like it can still like it just fine.

Those who like it can still like it just fine.

Because it will still be brewed in Nova Scotia.

Nevertheless, news that Labatt will scale down the production of Keith’s products in Halifax lit up the Internet yesterday, causing people to take to Alexander Keith’s Facebook page with wall posts of righteous disapproval.

The news broke early yesterday that Labatt would be laying off a number of workers at its Agricola Street brewery. The number of layoffs is uncertain — the company says it may be able to limit them to 10 permanent employees and 17 part-time workers.

Labatt is expanding Keith’s production to Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland to service customers in those markets. Halifax will still brew Keith’s, as it has since 1820, and so will British Columbia, as it has since 2009.

“That will allow us to ensure consistent, sustainable supply of Keith’s to consumers,” said Richard Musson, a Labatt Brewery vice-president, in a release.

Musson said Keith’s has become Labatt’s top “domestic specialty beer,” and demand is such that a number of regional breweries are now required.

But the Internet protests were fast and frequent. A large number of people visited the Keith’s Facebook site and expressed their outrage over the news that Keith’s would be brewed outside Nova Scotia — which it has been since the B.C. operations commenced in 2009.

Others took umbrage with laying off workers just before the holiday season.

Who said anything about a boycott?
Brian Doherty, the owner of The Old Triangle, said Keith’s is his best-selling beer — and he expects it to stay that way.

“Keith’s has a connection to the building of Halifax and the building of Nova Scotia that I don’t think will ever go away.”

However, Doherty did say that Keith’s may want to consider changing their slogan from “Born Here, Raised Everywhere” to "Conceived Here, Raised Everywhere.”

 
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