A Calgary-based brewery and Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) alumnus is celebrating a major milestone after being acquired by a multinational brewery.
Banded Peak Brewing Ltd., which has been in business since 2016, was first approached by Labatt Breweries of Canada (owned by Anheuser Busch InBev), in August 2019 – just one month after the Banded Peak team graduated from TAP.
“I think [TAP] prepared us,” says Colin McLean, Head of Marketing, Banded Peak Brewing. “We were already looking at the best ways to get into other markets, and I think Labatt was excited to see a business that was already looking to expand quite aggressively.”
The deal was announced on January 29. According to McLean, the business and brew will remain the same – but the company will now have the added benefit of access to Labatt’s expertise.
“Labatt wants to grow the brands we have created without compromising the quality or taste. Then it’s going to take our products and scale them up to the company’s distribution channels,” says McLean. “Basically, we just get to grow with them.”
Banded Peak is the second brewery in Calgary to sign a deal with a major distributor in the past year. Wildrose Brewery was acquired by Sleeman, owned by Sapporo Breweries Ltd., in May 2019.
“I would highly recommend the TAP program, said McLean. I have already to several other breweries. TAP gives companies a baseline of what exporting looks like.”