Centuries-old Molson brewery leaves Montreal site with hopes of maintaining heritage
Published Sunday, October 21, 2018 9:50PM EDT
Taps at the oldest brewery in North America will soon run dry as production of some of Canada’s most popular beers moves to the suburbs of Montreal.
Nestled along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the landmark Molson Coors building on the Island of Montreal has gone up for sale, with production moving to Longueuil.
It's not known what will happen to the current site, but beer should start flowing from new taps on the South Shore in 2021, as a long standing family business goes through the change of an era.
The groundbreaking of the new $500-million facility was a nostalgic moment for Geoff Molson, who is proudly continuing his family's legacy seven generations later.
The vice chairman of the Molson Coors board said: “It's a big change because we've been there for so many years, but we're going to make sure that site is well taken care of as well and our heritage remains.
“A lot of people have said ‘Are you going to keep the clock?,” he said. “That's to be determined.”
It is hoped parts of the historic building, like the landmark clock, will be preserved and prominently displayed at the new location.
A buyer has yet to be found for one of Montreal's most storied buildings, but the company intends on keeping its administrative offices in the city.
Founded by English immigrant John Molson in 1786, the brewery merged with U.S.-based Coors to form Molson Coors Brewing Company in 2005.
The company says a new state-of-the art plant is needed to keep up with changing technologies and market demands.
“We want to be able to respond to changing consumer trends more quickly than we're able to do today,” said Frederic Landtmeters, chief executive of Molson Coors Canada.
“There is a huge shift to more flavors, malt-based beverages, we want to be able to be flexible there.”
The company is hoping for a quick sale of the 12-hectare lot on Notre-Dame St., aiming to bring in millions – or hundreds of millions – of dollars to build the new brewery in Longueuil.
Molson Coors spokesperson Francois Lefebvre previously told CTV News: "We're looking for a developer that will respect the heritage of the Molson family and the Molson brewery and also that will work in collaboration with the city of Montreal."
---- With files from CTV News’ Vanessa Lee