Unibroue To Be Sold?

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Andicus
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Postby Andicus » Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:23 am

To quote Rick Mercer from "Made In Canada,", "This is not good!" :evil:
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:27 pm

Steve Beaumont wrote a response to the purchase on his web site today. Mentions us and ratebeer, amongst others.

http://www.worldofbeer.com/brightbeer/s ... broue.html
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Postby burgermeister » Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:51 pm

Cass wrote:Hmm. I think this sucks. But Dion et al control the brewery pretty tightly - I wonder if they would agree to sell unless there were clauses to maintain (at least some) of their brands?


I wouldn't be quick to assume that Sleeman will discontinue, or even change Unibroue brews. Sleeman is nothing if not a great judge of the marketplace and seems to be very aware of the differences in regional tastes. Sleeman bought Okanogan (sp?) Brewing out in BC back in '96 and although there was some rationalization, you still see more Okanogan branded product than Sleeman. BC is much more "micro friendly" than Ontario which Sleeman seems to recognize and therefore maintains the uniqueness of the Okanogan brews. The Quebec market is much eclectic in it's taste than is Ontario and while I've no doubt you'll see more Sleeman Cream etc. in the Quebec market as a result of this, I don't see it as the death of the Unibroue brands.

As an aside, didn't Moosehead either purchase or enter into some kind of agreement with McAuslin Brewing several years ago? Would this Sleeman move be in response to the previous Moosehead move?
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:11 pm


I wouldn't be quick to assume that Sleeman will discontinue, or even change Unibroue brews. Sleeman is nothing if not a great judge of the marketplace and seems to be very aware of the differences in regional tastes. Sleeman bought Okanogan (sp?) Brewing out in BC back in '96 and although there was some rationalization, you still see more Okanogan branded product than Sleeman. BC is much more "micro friendly" than Ontario which Sleeman seems to recognize and therefore maintains the uniqueness of the Okanogan brews. The Quebec market is much eclectic in it's taste than is Ontario and while I've no doubt you'll see more Sleeman Cream etc. in the Quebec market as a result of this, I don't see it as the death of the Unibroue brands.

As an aside, didn't Moosehead either purchase or enter into some kind of agreement with McAuslin Brewing several years ago? Would this Sleeman move be in response to the previous Moosehead move?


Well, the precendent that was set is that Sleeman purchased Seigneuriale in Quebec a number of years ago and discontinued a number of their brands. I think this demonstrates that they were in fact not very aware of regional tastes (there was nothing to suggest that their brands were unsuccessful) but instead simply wanted a brewing facility in the province.

Further, they never made Seigneuriale available in Ontario after they purchased the brewery, although it was a Vintages release a number of times. I made repeated attempts to explain why they wouldn't bring it in to no avail. And they've never brought Okanagan Spring to Ontario either - which shows to me that they are not into introducing their smaller brands into new markets. I had OK Spring Pale Ale in Winnipeg last week and that's the furthest east I've ever seen it.

And Moosehead did not purchase McAuslan, they bought a percentage of it, in the range of 40-50%.
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Postby burgermeister » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:22 pm

Cass wrote:
Well, the precendent that was set is that Sleeman purchased Seigneuriale in Quebec a number of years ago and discontinued a number of their brands.


You may be right, I really don't know, just thinking out loud (virtually) although I think the rational that Sleeman is using for getting into the Quebec market may have changed from when Seigneuriale was taken over.

And they've never brought Okanagan Spring to Ontario either - which shows to me that they are not into introducing their smaller brands into new markets.


Very true.
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Postby Wheatsheaf » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:53 pm

What else can you do but judge a company on its past behaviour? And between their gutting of the Seigneuriale brewery and the dumbing-down of their already dumbed-down beers, what other conclusion could a person reach?

The high-end beers are probably in trouble now. There's no barrier preventing Sleemibroue from keeping Terrible or Quelque Chose in production, but they will likely be phased-out once they become a nuisance to the new owners and their marketing department cronies. Taking the time and effort to brew quality beer with flavour and character has got to be a pain in the ass for a company focused on pumping-out an ever-increasing volume of mass-market swill.

One thing that nobody seems to have mentioned is the fate of the 750ml bottles. I wouldn't be at all surprised if these too are phased-out in the name of streamlining or standardization.

Maybe there's a small chance that we're wrong in being so pessimistic, but at this point it would take some incredibly bold actions (and a real change in Sleeman's attitude toward quality) to change the prevailing perception of this situation.
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:34 pm

One other thing that is likely in jeopardy: I remember reading/hearing that Unibroue was entering the distilling business. That will probably never see the light of day.

I wonder if their annual general meeting, scheduled for April 22nd in Chambly will still take place?
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Wheatsheaf
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Postby Wheatsheaf » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:42 pm

Cass wrote:I wonder if their annual general meeting, scheduled for April 22nd in Chambly will still take place?


It's still on according to the Yahoo! News story.
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Uncle Bobby
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Postby Uncle Bobby » Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:29 pm

What have they been saying on Bièropholie? I can't see any mention there, but the website is kind of hard to navigate.

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Postby the.brewer » Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:04 pm

Beanmedic,
Your post of 10:14 today contained a link at the bottom which turned out to be loaded with adware/spyware. Did you mean to send it, and if so, what were the contents about? I don't want to open it up again!
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Postby Bobbyok » Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:09 pm

the.brewer wrote:Beanmedic,
Your post of 10:14 today contained a link at the bottom which turned out to be loaded with adware/spyware. Did you mean to send it, and if so, what were the contents about? I don't want to open it up again!
Michael


That's listed as Beanmedic's own webpage. No Unibroue info.
the.brewer
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Postby the.brewer » Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:14 pm

Thanks.
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Postby borderline_alcoholic » Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:18 pm

It is like Sleeman's woke up one morning to find $36.5million lying around the place and then thought to itself "how can I best use this money to screw up decent Canadian beer forever (whilst furthering my own evil agenda)?". It hummed and haaed to itself for a while and then went off and bought Unibroue...

Yes, I would say that this bodes ill... Time will tell.

Of all the breweries that I know of within Canada, Unibroue produces more products that I like than any other by a very wide margin. Should these be discontinued, dumbed down, or otherwise destroyed, as I suspect they shall, it will put a massive hole in the fledgling Canadian good beer market and I for one would very much miss them. I will watch with interest.

I wonder how the Quebec beer community is reacting to the news that their excellent local micro-brewery is being bought out by miserable mass-market capitalist-pig Ontarians.
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beanmedic
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Postby beanmedic » Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:44 pm

the.brewer wrote:Beanmedic,
Your post of 10:14 today contained a link at the bottom which turned out to be loaded with adware/spyware. Did you mean to send it, and if so, what were the contents about? I don't want to open it up again!
Michael


its my band's personal site and as far as i know it contains no adware or spyware....just a couple pop-ups
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GregClow
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Postby GregClow » Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:59 pm

beanmedic wrote:its my band's personal site and as far as i know it contains no adware or spyware....just a couple pop-ups


Don't be so sure of that. cjb.net has been known to install spyware like Gator and Xupiter. Depending on the security settings that the person visiting the site has set in their browser, it may prompt them to accept the install, or it may just do it without asking.

This is sadly the case with a good number of the "free domain redirect" and "free webhosting" services that are out there. One of the few ways that they can make money, I guess.

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