Canadian Packaging

Brewing a strong future in Quebec: Labatt invests $110 million in sustainability, innovation and production expansion

November 15, 2021   by TACT

$43.7 million is dedicated to the Montreal brewery to help fund the introduction of North America’s first sustainable KeelClip™ packaging technology

MONTREAL, QC (November 15, 2021) – Labatt Breweries of Canada is investing $110 million in Quebec’s economy that includes a significant environmental enhancement to its Montreal brewery through a new capital program that runs from 2019-2022.

Both Quebec and Montreal will benefit from the investment, with $43.7 million going directly into Labatt’s Montreal brewery to fund increased brewing capacity and the implementation of KeelClip™ – a first-of-its-kind technology in North America that uses a sustainable, fibre paperboard packaging system instead of plastic.

The remainder of the $110 million investment will go towards non-brewery operations across the province including distribution and technology enhancements, and commercial initiatives. This investment will not only help accelerate the province’s post-COVID economic recovery, but it will also lead to a significant reduction in single-use plastic, signaling the company’s commitment to Montreal and the province of Quebec.

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“We’re proud of our history in Quebec and we’re excited to continue our commitment to the province with this important investment that will improve our operations and have significant environmental benefits,” says André Gravelle, Montreal Brewery General Manager, Labatt Breweries of Canada. “We know sustainability is a priority in the province and by introducing North America’s first KeelClip™ system right here in Montreal, we’re positioning our brewery to be a leader in sustainability in the province and setting up for future growth.”

KeelClip™ is a minimal fastener that is made from recycled fibre paperboard and replaces plastic packaging rings, tops, and shrink film. The innovative solution uses a high-tech automated packaging system, which will enable the Montreal brewery to eliminate nearly 100,000 kg of plastic by early 2022 — that’s more than the weight of 77 mid-size cars of plastic no longer going into the landfill. Once underway in other Labatt operations, this investment is projected to further cut Labatt’s single-use and recyclable plastics by a total of 242,000 kg by 2024.

In a bid to meet growing market demand, Labatt is using the remainder of the $43.7 million to expand production and install three new tanks at the Montreal brewery to increase brewing capacity. With the new upgrades, the company can ramp up production for new innovations, such as seltzers and ready-to-drink products.

“This investment comes at an important time and helps us move from strength to strength. We’re now able to make more of our most sought-after products and have the flexibility required to adapt to changing consumers tastes and preferences throughout the province,” says Gravelle.

Labatt has been operating in the province of Quebec for 143 years and has been brewing beer at its Montreal brewery since 1956. For almost 175 years, Labatt has had a longstanding history of substantial investments in its brewing operations and in supporting national, provincial, and local economies across Canada.

About the capital program

  • Labatt is investing $110 million province-wide in Quebec from 2019-2022.
  • The investment includes $43.7 million directly into the Montreal brewery to support new
    packaging technology and production expansion.
  • A major part of this investment is installing and switching to the KeelClip™ packaging system
    – the first-of-its kind in North America.
  • In a bid to meet growing consumer demand, Labatt is installing a new fermentation tank in the
    Montreal brewery. This will increase capacity and packaging flexibility for new innovations such
    as seltzers and ready-to-drink products.
  • Labatt has a close to 175-year history of substantial investments in its brewing operations and in supporting national, provincial, and local economies across Canada. From 2011-2021, Labatt has invested over $200 million in the Montreal brewery and $1.125 billion in all its operations Canada-wide.

About Labatt Breweries of Canada

Labatt Breweries of Canada has been one of Canada’s most respected companies for close to 175 years with roots back to 1847 in London, Ontario, when a farmer named John Kinder Labatt first entered the business of brewing. Since then, the company has grown to include seven key breweries from coast-to-coast, as well as four craft breweries, 75 brands and over 3,600 skilled craftspeople and professionals. We know that we’re only as strong as the communities where we live and work, and we’ve been making positive contributions since before Confederation. Today, that dedication to supporting Canadian communities, which includes our many responsible drinking and environmental sustainability programs, is summed up in our dream to Bring People Together for a Better World. Our employees are the driving force behind these efforts, rising to the challenge time and time again to lend a hand. And with their dedication to supporting their fellow Canadians matched only by their passion for brewing Canada’s best-loved beers, we know that Labatt is here to stay.


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