Malt and spirit-based beverages started rolling out from the Molson Coors brewery in Chilliwack for the first time this week.
While the company’s 236-year history is deeply rooted in beer, the rebranded Molson Coors Beverage Company is gaining traction with a raft of new products that go behind the beer aisle.
In Chilliwack, operational upgrades from early 2022 prepared them for these changes that took place at the Fraser Valley Brewery, and they dovetail with Molson Coors’ environmentally responsible brewing process.
“Investing in our brewing capabilities is a top priority for Molson Coors,” said David Hamel, Molson Coors’ general manager of operations for Western Canada. “This upgrade supports many of our commitments as a company – from modernizing our operations in Chilliwack, to unlocking additional brewing capacity for our above-premium brands, to doing so responsibly by ensuring our facilities are pillars of sustainable brewing for years to come.”
Two of the biggest Molson Coors facilities in Canada, in Chilliwack and Toronto, saw production get underway Monday for brands like Vizzy Hard Seltzer and CoorsSeltzer destined for the Western market, and Central Canada.
Both breweries are now “live” with production of non-beer beverages that will lead to thousands of additional hectolitres produced each year.
Technologies built into the facility are expected to decrease the company’s carbon footprint, as well as its energy and water consumption through practices such as carbon dioxide recycling, thereby reinforcing the brewery’s environmental, social, governance (ESG) initiatives in the community.
Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove sees the recent investments at the brewery as a facet of Chilliwack’s growth.
“One of council’s goals is to attract and maintain business growth,” Popove said. “Our community is growing rapidly and it’s exciting to see that growth reflected in Molson Coors’ continued investment in Chilliwack.”
Molson Coors’ Toronto brewery was founded in 1955 and currently stands as the beverage company’s biggest Canadian facility, next only to Chilliwack’s brewery, which opened in 2019. The Toronto facility has the capacity to brew 28 different brands, including core brands like Molson Canadian, Coors Light and Coors Original.
“As the biggest brewery under the Molson Coors banner in Canada, the Toronto Brewery team is proud to take part in this next chapter of our history,” said Tan Le, Molson Coors general manager of the Toronto Brewery.
The growing Canadian market for ready-to-drink beverages is estimated at almost three million hectolitres and Molson Coors’ market share in the hard seltzer and soda segment is close to 15 per cent and growing, said officials.
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