Monday, 13 February 2012

Why are AB taxpayers subsidizing Minhas Brewery?

925 Logan Avenue, Winnipeg Arlington at Logan
Minhas Brewery is already on my tut-tut list for the eyesore of 2011.

They owned the Ontario Wind Engine / Regal Furniture building at Logan and Arlington as well as a more modern warehouse extension at the back. Pleading that they couldn't afford to bring it up to code they applied to have it demolished, sweetening the deal by floating a balloon that they would like to build a brewery at the site within two years that would employ up to 100 people.

Well, soon after the demolition was complete the DTZ for sale sign that hung on the building went back up on the property and can be yours for $1.5m. To make matters worse they left an eyesore resembling something form the blitz it its wake.

I was surprised at the time to find how many people thought that the beer was brewed here, or at the very least, somewhere in Canada. Their website gives the impression that the brewery is based in Manitoba: "Minhas Creek is 100% Canadian owned and operated and based in Winnipeg, Manitoba." Unless, of course, you enter through another province's portal, say Sakatchewan's, and you find that it is "Minhas Creek is 100% Canadian owned and operated and based in Regina, Saskatchewan."

Huffington Post Feb 11, 2012 (Source)

On Saturday, David Menzies had a piece in the Huffington Post Canada about Minhas Creek Brewery asking why is Minhas receiving subsidies from the Alberta Government under their small brewers program, ($5.6m in 2010.) After all, their brewery is in Munroe, Wisconsin and the company that holds their trademarks etc. is Mountain Crest SRL based in the tax haven of Christ Church, Barbados.

925 Logan Avenue, Winnipeg
It's hardly something that's going to impact the company very much, (unless the subsidy is pulled.) Those seeking out the absolute cheapest beer possible wouldn't really care much where it was brewed or who's helping subsidize it. Still, it's an interesting read about how to cloak your company into something it's not.


Purple Rod said...

What a crook. I was under the impression that Minhas was a local Winnipeg-based company.

ekimsharpe said...

minhas is now attempting to fake it's way into the craft beer market by packaging and bottling a new "i.p.a." that is being sold at manitoba liquor marts.

i would never have picked up on the fact that it was minhas if it weren't for the too good to be true price of the beer"

i briefly considered grabbing one but wisely reconsidered... what a crock of shit.

cherenkov said...

Great post Mr.C. This should be picked up by the media. It really should.

Anonymous said...

Good corporate citizens, huh.

I'm still annoyed by the fact they had to get their hands on a building like Regal Furniture just to knock it down. It wasn't enough to have a profitable slice of the local beer market. No, they had to go out of their way to make the city just a little bit worse.

Maybe the Free Press should follow up with Manjit Minhas and ask how plans for that brewery are coming along.

unclebob said...

I for one am glad they have annoyed the major brands with discounting. Beer has been overpriced both from the producers and from the government for too long. Apparently it is so bad that the distributor(owned jointly by the majors)refuse to distribute for Minhas so they have to do it themselves. That means they also have to pick up their own separated empties which frustrates some retailers. It has managed to get them delisted in many vendors.

Anonymous said...

Well bad news for me! I'm from Alberta and my PC Government is giving him my tax dollars while Molson left the Province and Sleamen's built in BC because of the unfair advantage my government gave this American company. Lucky an election is around the corner. Some how this has to make main stream media because they are conning every drinker in every Province that they are a Manitobian, Saskatchewan, Albertan, company. What a complete JOKE!

Mike said...

Little late I know but don't claim Molson is a Canadian company. It is owned as Molson Coors and incorporated in the United States. It is an American company now.

Anonymous said...

Yes you are right but the tax payers of Alberta are not subsidizing Molson by $5 M/year. Big difference.