Beau’s Brewery announces partnership with Steam Whistle Brewing for shared sales and distribution

Tuesday, November 16, was a day of ups and downs at Beau’s Brewing Co., as the company announced both an alliance with Steam Whistle Brewing, while the same day multiple layoffs were taking place at the Vankleek Hill brewing facility.

“I can confirm that layoffs took place today, but they are largely not related to the Steam Whistle announcement,” said Beau’s spokesperson Jen Beauchesne, in a Tuesday afternoon email to The Review in response to an inquiry about the layoffs and the Steamwhistle announcement.

Most of temporary layoffs which occurred this week are because Beau’s is slowing down production, while the company does maintenance work on its lines and brewing tanks, said Beau’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Steve Beauchesne.

“We have been having some fermentation issues,” Beauchesne said. “We need to empty the tanks and do a deep clean.”

The good news for the company is that the new partnership between Beau’s and Steamwhistle will see the two craft-brewing leaders join forces to sell and distribute their pooled portfolios in Ontario. The partnership is forged on Beau’s and Steam Whistle’s shared histories of brewing all-natural, best quality craft beer, deep-rooted company values, and of course, knowing how to deliver a great craft beer experience Beauchesne said.

“We refuse to be slowed by the pandemic-based hospitality industry impacts,” said Steve Beauchesne. “This new bold alliance between Steam Whistle and Beau’s gives us resiliency and capacity for growth.”

“Together, Beau’s and Steam Whistle are living the spirit of innovation and collaboration that the craft beer community is known for.”

“Steam Whistle and Beau’s are stronger together,” said Greg Taylor, Co-founder and CEO of Steam Whistle. “Our combined line-up of leading brands is, we believe, the most outstanding craft beer portfolio in the country.”

“There’s a great future of quality craft beer for our beloved fanbase.”

Sales at Beau’s Brewery have decreased by approximately 40 per cent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the company’s CEO said. The partnership between Beau’s and Steamwhistle will allow both companies to reach more potential customers in Ontario.

“We are a very resilient company and we are always looking to find solutions,” Beauchesne said. “From a sales perspective, we now have double the sales team of other (craft) brewers.”

“Combined we have a wide product range that commands attention.”

Shared values, shared history

Steam Whistle and Beau’s are approaching the new sales and distribution partnership with the advantage of shared values, that include active employee ownership and a demonstrated commitment to leadership in environmental stewardship. Their common company cultures, centered on sustainability, have meant they have earned many of the same ecological awards and recognition.

The two leading craft brewers share longstanding support of arts-based, charitable and community organizations, touching many great Canadian causes. Steam Whistle and Beau’s have each earned numerous industry accolades for innovation, unique packaging, and beer quality. Both have grown across Canada to share their beer country-wide.

Shared portfolio for sales and distribution

Beau’s mainly-ale and Steam Whistle’s mostly-lager line-ups combined now position the pair to offer customers, together, a diverse and crowd-pleasing portfolio of loved and respected craft beer brands. A joined sales force will represent the duo’s products while Steam Whistle’s distribution team will handle warehousing and delivery to the province’s Licensed Establishments and Beer, Liquor and Grocery stores.

Their portfolio of extraordinary beers headline top-selling flagship products, Steam Whistle Pilsner and Beau’s Lug Tread Lagered Ale, alongside other exciting styles and seasonals:

  • Steam Whistle Pale Ale, Session Light Lager and Lemon Shandy.
  • Beau’s new Porter Porter (a dark ale brewed year-round in partnership with Porter Airlines), Beau’s Full Time IPA, Country Vibes Amber Lagered Ale, Good Time Session IPA, Beau’s Radler, Lug Tread 2.5% and Beau’s Local Organic.
  • Steam Whistle’s partner offerings from industry-leading craft compatriots, Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. and New Belgium Brewing.

Beauchesne noted that it was difficult to announce both layoffs and the parnership on the same day, but the company did not want to make separate anouncements.

“From a human perspective it’s hard to do. These people are my friends. We are hopeful they will be back soon.”

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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