Lakeport Brewing Company

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Lakeport Breweries
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1992
Headquarters Hamilton, Ontario
Canada
Products Beer
Owners Anheuser–Busch InBev

The Lakeport Brewing Company is a beer brewer formerly located on Burlington Street East and Wellington Street North in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is the largest discount brewer in Canada, and uses the motto "Lakeport, Great beer, Fair prices." The company was incorporated on April 27, 2005.[1] Lakeport produces nine proprietary beers, of which the most popular are Lakeport Honey Lager and Lakeport Pilsner.[2] As of 2006, Lakeport has an eleven percent share of the Ontario beer market[3] the only province in which Lakeport beer is sold. They also have other brand names, such as Brava, Wee Willy, and Steeler lager.

The parent company of Lakeport Brewing is Lakeport Brewing Income Fund, now wholly owned by the Labatt division of Anheuser–Busch InBev.

History[edit]

Lakeport was founded by William (Bill) Sharpe in 1992 as a premium beer brewery.[4] Bill Sharpe created and launched many new brands of premium beer, as well as negotiating contracts to brew beers for other brands such as President's Choice. Lakeport's retail outlet adjacent to the brewery was the first store in Ontario to sell beer on Sundays.[citation needed]

Due to anti-competitive measures by Brewers Retail, owned by the two largest brewers in Canada, Lakeport was in bankruptcy protection in 1999 when AlphaCorp Holdings Ltd [5] bought the brewery and hired Teresa Cascioli to manage the brewery. Lakeport took on contract manufacturing work for other beverage brands and reworked its operations to make the brewery profitable. Cascioli later bought out the other investors to gain complete ownership of the company[6] which she retained until the initial public offering, at which point her ownership fell to twenty percent.[7]

Two-Four for Twenty Four[edit]

The Lakeport Brewery

In 2002 Lakeport held one percent of the market share in Ontario when it pioneered a retail strategy of selling twenty four beers for twenty four dollars,[8] the lowest legal price in Ontario.[9] Lakeport used its low prices as the basis for its marketing[10] to much success. The Lakeport Honey Lager brand in particular became popular. Teresa Cascioli feels the success is due to Lakeport's willingness to take ownership of their discount beers. She stated, "We are the only one at $24 plus deposit that actually puts our company name on it."[11] This was a departure from the norm, especially for a brand such as honey lager. Typically specialty beer brands, such as honey lager, released under a company's name, were sold at premium prices. The marketing of Lakeport Light, Pilsener, and Honey Lager was combined to keep costs down.

There were few advertisements for Lakeport that appeared on television at this time. One advertisement that was aired featured both Teresa Cascioli, and a shop steward of the Teamsters Local 938, representing the workers who brew Lakeport, discussing how they hoped to make a good product at a reasonable price for their consumers. This "grassroots marketing approach"[12] was quite different from most beer marketing strategies [13] in Ontario, Canada, which primarily focus on creating an image for a particular individual brand. The homepage on the Lakeport Brewing website declared Lakeport is "Proudly Union-Made in Ontario".

Lakeport's share of the Ontario beer market rose from less than two percent in 2003[14] to seven percent in 2004 to ten percent in 2005 and eleven percent in 2006. In 2005, Lakeport had one of the top ten selling beers in Ontario. By 2006 two Lakeport beers were among the ten top selling beers in Ontario.

Takeover[edit]

On February 1, 2007 Labatt Brewery, owned by InBev, made an offer of $201.4 Million CAD to purchase Lakeport. CEO Teresa Cascioli, and the board of directors, recommended the sale; Cascioli owns a 21 percent share in the company and stands to gain an excess of $40 million CAD from the sale of shares.[15]

On March 30, 2010 Labatt Brewery announced that it would be closing the Lakeport Hamilton Brewery on April 30, 2010 and shifting production to London, Ontario.

Several offers for the facilities have been surfacing following the closure notice. Calgary based Minhas Creek Brewing Company was interested in the plant, but Labatt declined, not wanting any new lease owner for the site to produce beer there.[16] The Teamsters Union Local 938 called for a boycott of Labatt products due to this.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lakeport Brewing Company Snapshot at globeinvestor.com". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  2. ^ "About Lakeport". Lakeport Brewing. 
  3. ^ Steve Arnold (May 10, 2006). "Raise a Glass!". The Hamilton Spectator. 
  4. ^ "Industrial Hamilton - A Trail to the Future - Breweries in Hamilton". 
  5. ^ "ZoomInfo Web Summary: Lakeport Beverage Corporation". 
  6. ^ "Spirited female CEOs bottle success". Business Edge. September 16, 2006. 
  7. ^ Gavin Adamson (March 29, 2006). "Not every trust's a winner in its rookie year". The Globe and Mail. 
  8. ^ Deirdre Healey (May 20, 2006). "Forget the froth, this is serious". The Hamilton Spectator. 
  9. ^ Peter Koven (June 23, 2006). "Lakeport opens a 2-4 of profit". The National Post. 
  10. ^ Scott Roberts (August 18, 2006). "Lakeport taps into discount thirst". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. 
  11. ^ Sasha Nagy (September 2005). "Creativity was spawned from pure desperation". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. 
  12. ^ "Edited Standing Committee on Health - Evidence - Number 025 Re: Bill C-206". Government of Canada. March 9, 2005. 
  13. ^ "In The News". ACNielsen. March 2006. 
  14. ^ Chris Daniels (December 2005). "Small-town Beer, Big Impact". Marketing. 
  15. ^ Keith McArther. "Labatt to swallow Lakeport". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  16. ^ "Minhas Creek boss coming to city". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  17. ^ "Call to Union Members and all working people – DON’T BUY LABATT PRODUCTS!". Teamsters Local Union 938 Top News Stories. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 

External links[edit]