- July 19, 2018
The Labatt Brewing Company was first formed in Canada in 1847.In a letter to his wife, John Labatt first recorded his love of beer: “I have been considering this brewing affair for some time and think it would suit me better than anything else.” And he was right.
Now, 165 years after the brewery was founded, Labatt is beginning a new venture with the development of the Labatt USA Pilot Brewery in Buffalo, NY, where Labatt USA has been headquartered for more than a decade. “The Labatt Brew House marks a new era for Labatt beer. For the first time, we have a destination where we develop beer alongside our most passionate consumers who will influence the styles and variety of beers we create,” said Brinn Johnson, director of retail strategy and business development, for Labatt USA. The brew house will offer styles outside of the beloved Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light, including an IPA and other popular beer styles. Consumers will be able to give feedback on the beers available at the Brew House and influence the styles that Labatt may roll out on a wider scale.
Now that you know about Labatt USA’s current endeavors, here are a few notable points from Labatt’s long, storied history:
- Labatt survived Canadian Prohibition from 1915 to 1927 by producing full-strength beer for export south of the border and by introducing two “temperance ales” (brews with less than two percent alcohol) for sale in Ontario.
- John Labatt even survived a kidnapping by gangsters in 1934.Three days later, he was released unharmed at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel.
- In 1951, Labatt launched Pilsener Lager, setting the trend for lager beers in Canada. The beer was nicknamed “Blue” for the color of its label and the company’s support of Winnipeg’s Canadian Football League (CFL) franchise, the Manitoba Blue Bombers.
- That same year, the beer was imported into the USA and Labatt USA was formed. Today, Labatt Blue is America’s top-selling Canadian beer.
- Labatt USA, under parent company North American Breweries, is the exclusive importer of the Labatt family of brands, including Labatt Blue, Labatt Blue Light, Labatt Blue Light Lime, Labatt Premiere, Labatt NA, Labatt Ice and more.
- Labatt Blue won first place at the World Beer Cup three different years: 1958, 1998 and 2003.
- Labatt USA is a triple bottom line company that prioritizes people, planet and profit to drive its business, reduce environmental footprints and impact the community. Labatt USA has been a partner of the Global Waterkeeper Alliance and has made investments in local chapters along the Great Lakes region exceeding $100,000 this year alone.
- Labatt USA has honored its Canadian roots as a proud partner of USA Hockey for more than 10 years. They also sponsor more than ten pond hockey tournaments across the country each year, including the U.S. Pond Hockey Tournament, which draws more than 50,000 spectators from across the country.
- Beginning in 2015, Labatt Blue became the official Canadian import beer of the Philadelphia Flyers!