(Photo: Francis Tessier-Burns)

Beau’s gets funding for faster packing

There’s likely going to be fewer paper cuts at Beau’s brewery.

On Monday, Beau’s received $96,500 to put towards a new packaging system. Boxes used to be assembled and glued by hand. The new machines spit out the four-pack and eight-pack boxes, and fill them fast enough to keep up with the demand that comes with national distribution.

The system cost about $275,000 with funding covering about 35 per cent of the total.  

The new packaging system includes three different machines: one for the four-pack, one for the eight-pack and one that puts the bottles in the boxes. (Photo: Francis Tessier-Burns)

Investing in local food and drink

Francis Drouin, MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, called Beau’s expansion over the past 10 years “an amazing achievement” and praised the brewery for its efforts in giving back the community.

“I’m proud to have such an innovative and community-minded company right here in Vankleek Hill,” he said.

The funding comes as part of the province’s Growing Forward 2 program, which helps local food and beverage producers and processors expand with new technologies.

“Processors like Beau’s are key to growing our economy right here in Eastern Ontario,” said Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

About 246,000 Canadians have a job in the food and processing industry. Specifically for Ontario craft breweries, about 1,500 people have “direct brewery jobs” and the industry is growing.

Tanya Beimers (left) gives a brewery tour to Minister Jeff Leal (centre) and MPP Grant Crack (right). (Photo: Francis Tessier-Burns)

Continuing to grow

The funding allows Beau’s to keep hiring, says Tanya Beimers, the brewery’s CFO. She said the brewers of Ottawa’s official beer for 2017 is looking to expand by about 10 per cent in the coming year, including in new provinces.

Beimers said small businesses like Beau’s really have to “do your homework.”

“There are always new (opportunities) that pop up,” she said. “Unless you’re doing your due diligence, you’re never going to come across it.”

Beau’s received $354,000 at the end of 2014 to upgrade to a faster bottling line. (Photo: Francis Tessier-Burns)

Other food processors in Eastern Ontario who received funding were:

  • Brandnew Foods Canada: $100,000 for an automated packing system
  • Calico Food Ingredients: $45,000
  • Canadian Blast Freezers: $5,000 to conduct an energy and water usage audit
  • Haliburton highlands Brewing: $100,000 for equipment to increase batch sizes.
  • Kawartha Dairy: $100,000 to upgrade packaging quipment
  • Kimicha: $22,000 for an automatic tea-bagging machine
  • Mariposa Dairy: $165,000 to expand its cheese-aging facility and production of frozen goat cheese.

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