Molson beer buys into the craft market

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Molson Canada picks up Creemore Springs Brewery Ltd. as the company maneuvers to make an entry into the craft beer market.

Creemore Springs of Creemore, Ontario, produces the locally popular Creemore Springs lager. The merger will allow the company to retain its identity.

"The Creemore brand image and brewing craft will remain unchanged," Creemore Springs Brewery chairman Bill Wilder said. "Molson understands and appreciates what is special about the Creemore brand and this makes them a great purchaser for the company."

Industry observers are mixed on the benefits of the deal for Molson. The CBC reports one analyst suggests Molson may be trying to replicate the success of rival Labatt's premium beers. Others point out the small brewery model does not scale up well, and the attraction of a "boutique" beer fades in large-scale production.

Molson Coors Brewing Co., formed by the US$3.4 billion merger in February of two family-run companies, Canadian Molson and U.S. Coors brewing companies, is the fifth largest brewer in the world by volume. (TSX:TAP.NV, NYSE:TAP)

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