Canadian Packaging

Molson Coors cracks open a cool one

Toronto brewery inaugurates a new $13.5-million bottling line.


June 28, 2012
by Canadian Packaging Staff

The Molson Coors Brewing Brewing Company officially inaugurated its new state-of-the-art $13.5 million turnkey packaging line at the Molson Coors Brewery in Toronto on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Attendance at the event featured such royalty as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Ontario Minister of economic development and innovation Brad Duguid, and Molson Coors Brewing Brewing Company chairman of the board Andrew T. Molson—making one almost expected a bottle of Molson Canadian to be dashed across the bow of the freshly installed bottling line at the Molson facility in west-end Toronto.

It wouldn’t have worked, of course, as the newly inaugurated line fills and packs the exciting new “Widemouth” Alumi-Tek aluminum bottles manufactured by the Ball Corporation—a decidedly robust container that will not shatter if dropped or used to launch a ship.

Depalletized aluminum Coors bottles are conveyed to the new $13.5-million filling and packaging line at the Toronto brewery of Molson Coors.

The 100 per cent recyclable Widemouth bottle, which comes with a reclosable screw cap, is being used at the Toronto brewery to contain the company’s top brands Coors Light and Molson Canadian, and the highly anticipated Coors Light Iced T – a hybridization of beer and iced tea that the company is hoping will resonate with traditional non-beer drinkers.

The Molson Coors alcoholic beverages in the new bottles will be available across Canada in early July.

Nicknamed the “Acrobat”, the new 60,000 bottles per hour filling and packaging line is being called a ‘flexible packaging’ line by Molson Coors. No… the beer is not being packed in bags used for potato chips, rather the beer giant is referring to the flexibility of the line to handle and package different types, shapes and materials of its containers.

Installation of the new packaging line, the only line offering this flexible production capacity for Molson Coors in Canada, was begun in February of 2012 in response to evolving consumer demand for a greater variety of packaging.

Andrew Molson says the new line represents a “culture of innovation and a culture of our global growth strategy” referring to how it will serve as an incubation line for innovative new Molson Coors formats. As Molson touched upon, its key differentiating feature is the option to add capabilities to fill and package a variety of different types of containers, allowing for a range of future packaging innovations.

Filled and capped bottles of Coors beer move quickly along the conveyor line powered by SEW-Eurodrive motors for case packing..

Molson Coors Canada chief supply chain officer Cathy Noonan adds, “We’ll be able to develop new products more effectively, so we can focus on creating industry-leading packaging formats for our Canadian consumers.”

The installation of this new line follows other recent investments in the province, such as the addition of new fermentation tanks to the Molson Coors Toronto brewery in early 2011, translating into capital investments of nearly $90 million in Ontario alone since 2010.

“Innovation is key to creating jobs and strengthening the economy,” states Ontario Minister of economic development and innovation Brad Duguid. “Ontario welcomes Molson Coors Canada’s commitment to bringing new products to customers while growing its manufacturing capability in Toronto.”

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford adds: “Molson Coors’ continued investment in their Toronto operations is great news.

“Today’s opening of the flexible packaging line will help to ensure the Molson Coors Toronto Brewery continues to be a fixture at one of Toronto’s busiest intersections, as it has been for over 50 years.”

Watch a video on the Krones Modulpal single-column palletizer that works at 360 bottles per minute, and able to complete 48 pallets in a single shift. Molson Coors says it is the first robotic arm palletizer in Toronto.

About Molson Coors Brewing Company

Molson Coors is a leading global brewer, operating in Canada through Molson Coors Canada, in the United Sates through Miller Coors, and in the United Kingdom and Ireland through Molson Coors (UK & Ireland). For more information, visit www.molsoncoors.com.