Ontario Adopts Temporary Measures to Support Bars, Restaurants and Alcohol Retailers During COVID-19 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has announced a number of temporary measures to support local businesses in Ontario that have been significantly impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario will be allowed to sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. All active liquor licensees may immediately begin offering this service if they choose and there is no application process or fee required. Liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform, provided they are acting on behalf of the licensee.

Additionally, the AGCO is temporarily allowing authorized grocery stores and liquor manufacturer retail stores to begin selling alcohol as of 7:00 am in order to support early shopping programs for vulnerable people and to provide greater flexibility to retail stores. The temporary extension of hours also provides greater flexibility for all alcohol retail stores to choose their hours of sale to meet public health objectives. Consumers are encouraged to confirm operating hours with retailers.

The AGCO is also extending by three months the term of all active liquor, gaming and cannabis licences, authorizations and registrations during this extraordinary situation. In all cases, licensees do not need to do anything. Existing licences will simply remain in effect for the extended period, at no additional cost.

“Everyone at the AGCO is concerned for the individuals, families, businesses and communities affected by this virus. We are working closely with the Government of Ontario to find ways of supporting Ontarians and the sectors we regulate during these challenging times” states Jean Major, Registrar and CEO, AGCO.

Labatt Breweries of Canada Shift Production to Hand Sanitizer to Fight Spread of COVID-19

Labatt Breweries of Canada is once again mobilizing its Canadian Disaster Relief Program and for the first time, is in the process of shifting production from beer to hand sanitizer across the country in support of the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. Initial production will result in 50,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that will be donated to support Food Banks Canada, front line workers and partners in the restaurant and bar industry who are playing a critical role in serving take-out meals in a time of need.

Following the guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO), select Canadian facilities will commence the production of hand sanitizer effective immediately. This includes Labatt Breweries facilities in London, Ont., Edmonton, Alta., and Montreal, Que., Goodridge & Williams in Vancouver, B.C. and Mill Street Beer Hall in Toronto, Ont.

“This is a national crisis like we haven’t seen in our lifetimes and we feel an obligation to do everything we can to help through our Disaster Relief Program,” said Charlie Angelakos, Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Labatt Breweries of Canada. “Our goal is to get this much-needed sanitizer into the hands of those who need it most, especially individuals on the front lines serving their communities as we all pull together.”

Donations of the hand sanitizer will be determined on a local basis where Labatt Breweries of Canada facilities are located from coast-to-coast and arrangements for safe delivery will be made.

“It’s times like these when organizations like ours need more support than ever – to assist the devoted food bankers on the ground helping those vulnerable people in our communities.  We’re so grateful that Labatt is providing us with much-needed hand sanitizer,” says Chris Hatch, CEO, Food Banks Canada. “It’s great to see a Canadian company step up and do their part in helping the community and I’m sure Labatt’s efforts will have a major impact during this difficult time.”

http://www.labatt.com

 

European Wine is dominating Canada

New statistics released last month by Canada’s national statistics agency confirm that wine is increasingly gaining popularity. Canadian consumers’ attention seems to be drawn to foreign products. Statistics show that 70% of the total wine consumed in Canada between 2017 and 2018 was imported.

Canada is a market that the European Union cannot underestimate. While beer seems to retain its position as Canadians’ favorite alcoholic beverage (39, 68% of the value of total alcoholic beverages sales), Canada’s national statistics agency has data to confirm that wine is not far from gaining first place (32,43%). This is a tendency arisen within the last 10 years: wine sales in Canada have been consistently increasing year on year (averaging 4,2% a year; 4,6% compared with the previously investigated fiscal year, 2016/17). At a global level, analysis by Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) on the state of the viticulture in the world market has found that in 2018 Canada was the 13th country in terms of wine consumption, but the 6th for volume of imported wine (joint with the Netherlands). As mentioned above, Canada’s significant wine import rate is confirmed by Canada’s own data, which reports that 70% of the wine consumed in Canada between 2017 and 2018 was of foreign origin.

The Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union played a fundamental role in imported wine’s conquer of the Canadian market. The treaty was provisionally applied on September 21th, 2018, and eliminated 98% of the exporting tariffs between the signing countries. The CETA also signified the official acknowledgment of European denominations of origin, a remarkable achievement for high-quality European products. For the first time, the treaty banned the sale in Canada of imitations of 140 European delicacies, making European designations of origin an unequivocal guarantee of products origin and craft.

However, protecting these products from imitations is not enough. In order to make the most of this opportunity, the European quality system needs to be demystified and communicated to the ordinary customer. According to NGO participant Kurtis Kolt, wine consultant and sommelier, wine experts are aware of the superior craft of EU products marked with quality labels, but the difference is still unclear to the general public: It should not be taken for granted that everyone knows what PDO and PGI mean.

This is precisely why the European Union has created educational programs such as Native Grape Odyssey. Comments from participants confirm that the full potential of European wines in the Canadian market is still to be expressed: “Wine consumption, sales, intrigue and interest are on the rise in Canada currently and it is a great time for the premium wine market. Wine is currently on trend in Canada and it is a great time to focus on more niche or lesser known wines varietals and regions.“ commented Jeffery Osborne, Sales Manager at Grape Brands Ltd. and sommelier.

The situation seems promising for European exports in Canadian market, but these products need to be properly introduced and explained to the consumer. This is a role that only people of authority within the market can undertake. The above-mentioned 25 wine experts have thus found in NGO a way to deepen their knowledge about the subject, so that they can effectively express it to the Canadian market. Joanne DiGeso, wine educator, stated that NGO has perfectly identified what is needed to take European wine sales in Canada to the next level: «I think that NGO is doing great work at educating influencers, sommeliers and educators on the broader range of Italian wines. This, in turn, should ‘trickle down’ to consumers.» Sommelier Jeffery Osborne commented further by praising NGO’s educational activities content: «NGO-organised seminars are fantastic deep dives into perspectives on the grapes and wines which we are typically not exposed to by CMS or WSET. »

The success of this first edition encouraged NGO’s organizers to expand the program: large scale events have already been planned for the months to come, and this time NGO will literally bring European excellence to the world, organizing educational activities directly in the target countries.

About: Native Grape Odyssey is a project financed by the European Union and managed by Unione Italiana Vini and Zante Agricultural Cooperatives Union for the promotion of PDO and PGI European wines abroad, in particular in three countries: Japan, Canada and Russia. In order to achieve this, the Native Grape Odyssey educational program will organize wine seminars, workshops and b2b meetings both in these countries and in Verona, Italy, inviting wine experts and influencers from these countries. These events, realized in the span of three years (2019-21) aim at creating awareness about European native wines abroad, in particular, Italian and Greek wines, which share a long tradition and a high standard of quality.

Source:
Native Grape Odyssey (NGO), an EU-financed educational project for the promotion of European native grapes

U.S. Guinness Brewery is set to open August 3, 2018

Starting August 3, 2018 Guinness beer will be brewed at its own U.S. brewing facility.

Starting August 3, 2018 Guinness beer will be brewed at its own U.S. brewing facility.

Guinness’ parent Diageo announced January 31, 2017 by press release that they would build a U.S. version of Dublin’s famous Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore County, Maryland.

The $50 million project includes the construction of a mid-sized Guinness brewery, packaging and warehousing operations as well as a tasting room, retail store and visitor center at Diageo’s Relay, Maryland site.

The new brewery would feed Guinness’ innovation program by creating new beers for the U.S. market, but the vast majority of the brand’s world-renowned stout offerings would continue to be brewed at the St. James’s Gate facility in Dublin, the company said.

“Opening a Guinness brewery and visitor center in the US will enable us to collaborate with fellow brewers and interact with the vibrant community of beer drinkers,” Diageo Beer Company, USA president Tom Day said in a press release. “Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the US, we are confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County.”

The full press release is included below:

RELAY, Md., January 31, 2017 – Continuing the momentum from Diageo Beer Company USA’s positive half year financial results, Diageo today announced its intention to build a US version of Dublin’s popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore County, Maryland. As currently planned, the company would build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s existing Relay, Maryland site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million. The new brewery would be a home for new Guinness beers created for the US market, while the iconic Guinness Stouts will continue to be brewed at St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland. Visitors would be able to tour the working brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site at the taproom, and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store. While finalization of these plans is still contingent on reaching agreement on several considerations, the project would represent a significant investment in Maryland in terms of economic development, job creation and tourism.

“Opening a Guinness brewery and visitor center in the US will enable us to collaborate with fellow brewers and interact with the vibrant community of beer drinkers,” stated Tom Day, President, Diageo Beer Company, USA. “Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the US, we are confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County. We appreciate the support we have received so far from state and local officials and look forward to continuing to contribute to the local community.”

The project would re-establish a Guinness brewery in the US after 63 years of absence. The new brewery and visitor experience would become part of Diageo’s production facility in Relay, site of the historic Calvert Distillery which opened in 1933. Relay was chosen as the preferred location for this project for several reasons, including the site’s proximity to major East Coast tourist and population hubs, availability of skilled employees, and space to build and adapt existing structures on the property. While many specifics are still being evaluated, it is estimated that this project could generate approximately 40 jobs in brewing, warehousing and an agile packaging operation, which may include canning, bottling and kegging. In addition, the Guinness visitor experience part of the project could create approximately 30 jobs. A significant number of construction jobs would likely also be created during the building phase, and the company would endeavor to hire as many local firms as possible to conduct this work.

“Guinness’ plan to build a brewery at its historic facility in Relay, MD is great news for job creation, manufacturing, and tourism in our state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Beer tourism attracts millions of visitors to towns and communities across the country every year and I look forward to welcoming Guinness to the roster of excellent breweries we have here in Maryland.”

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said, “Today’s announcement is an exciting development for Maryland’s thriving tourism industry and our state’s burgeoning, award-winning brewing sector. The Guinness facility will be a strong boost for our economy by creating good-paying jobs for Marylanders and by attracting visitors from across the region and the country. I am optimistic that all stakeholders will come together and work collaboratively with the General Assembly to ensure that this innovative project moves forward.”

“Baltimore County is thrilled that Diageo is reviving a historic building with the iconic Guinness brand. The brewery and tap house has all the hallmarks to become a popular tourist destination and will be a perfect complement to our local craft breweries,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Tom Quirk, Chair of the Baltimore County Council whose district encompasses the Relay site, stated, “More than just a brewery, this is a significant investment in our community that represents a new direction for the historic Relay facility. Leveraging Guinness’ 250 years of brewing heritage and capitalizing on its great location for welcoming visitors to Baltimore County, this will be a strong boost for tourism, not only in the county, but the entire region.”

President Jason Chorpenning of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27, which currently represents employees at Diageo’s Relay facility, also expressed support, saying, “UFCW Local 27 is very excited about the prospect of a brewing operation in the Baltimore market, and the potential for more jobs and membership in our great local union. We wholly support any legislation necessary to make this opportunity happen, and we will work with Diageo to ensure the success of this endeavor.”

“As the largest Diageo beer distributor in the state of Maryland, we are very excited about today’s announcement by Diageo Beer Company USA to resurrect its facility in Relay and build a brewery,” said Evan Anthanas, President, Chesapeake Beverage. “Not only will this project help build the Guinness brand in Maryland, the tourism piece and brand experience planned for this project will certainly enhance Maryland’s beer industry and be a benefit to our retail customers.”

Prominent Maryland restaurateur, Mark Loundas of Bill Bateman’s Bistro commented, “What an exciting announcement for tourism in Baltimore County and the state of Maryland. I know that this Guinness brewery project will benefit the entire hospitality industry including hotels, beverage alcohol retailers and other tourist destinations throughout our region.”

Diageo hopes to receive approvals and to begin construction this spring with the goal of opening the brewery this fall to mark the 200th anniversary of Guinness being first imported into the US.

As reported in Diageo’s half-yearly financial results last week, Diageo Beer Company USA organic net sales increased 3%.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

https://www.diageo.com/

Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA

About Guinness

The Guinness brand was established in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. Brewed using four main ingredients, water, barley (malted & roasted), hops and yeast, Guinness is the world’s most popular stout. The iconic beer is brewed in 49 countries worldwide and sold in over 150 with almost 9 million glasses of Guinness enjoyed every day around the world. The most GUINNESS is sold in Great Britain, Ireland, USA, Nigeria and Cameroon. More information can be found at www.guinness.com.

https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en

@homeofguinness

Carlsberg uses molecular gastronomy to create “Beer Caviar”

In honor of this year’s World Cup, Carlsberg has created the world’s first beer caviar.

In honor of this year’s World Cup, Carlsberg has created the world’s first beer caviar.

“The last couple of years there has been a trend within molecular gastronomy to develop artificial caviar from natural ingredients with all kinds of flavors. We thought it would be fun to create caviar made from beer to give soccer fans a taste of Russia,” says Danish chef Umut Sakarya, who developed the Beer Caviar along with Carlsberg’s brewers.

Carlsberg is the official sponsor of the Danish national team, and is a beer that the brewery says, “most Danes view as part of their national cultural heritage.” Caviar has always been considered a traditional delicacy in Russia, the host of 2018 World Cup.

Beer caviar will help fans celebrate in moderation. “By combining drinking with eating, you drink less and slower,” says Wouter de Groot, a brand and PR lead at Carlsberg Group. “We hope our beer caviar will help us spread this important message.”

Danish innovation meets Russian tradition

Beer caviar combines both cultures into one single dish as a tribute to both countries.