Labatt Quietly Rolls Out Rolling Rock in Ontario

TORONTO, ONMarketing Magazine reports that Labatt Breweries has brought the iconic American lager Rolling Rock to the Ontario market, doing so with very little fanfare.

According to the report, Rolling Rock was launched on draught at approximately 100 bars across the province in mid-January, and cans will be available at the LCBO and Beer Store next month.

Rolling Rock was first brewed in 1939 by the Latrobe Brewing Company of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The brewery was purchased by Labatt in 1987, and like all Labatt-owned brands, it ultimately ended up under the ownership umbrella of multinational brewing conglomerate InBev, which sold Latrobe and Rolling Rock to then-competitor Anheuser-Busch in 2006.

With the merger of A-B and InBev in 2008, Labatt and Rolling Rock are once again owned by the same parent company, although in the interim, A-B had sold the Latrobe facility but retained ownership of the Rolling Rock brand, moving production to other A-B plants.

Even with this shared history extending over more than two decades, Labatt had not brought Rolling Rock to Canada until now. According to Labatt representative David Nicholls, the brand has “seen some good success over the past three weeks, but we need the full picture of how it’s lasting over the months and how it’s doing at retail” in Ontario before deciding if it will be made available elsewhere in Canada.

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Comments

  1. Yeah – More watery swill on the shelves pushing out more distinctive (and local) beer!

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  2. Yippee, the beer that InBev didn’t want but was saddled with anyway comes north. I can scarcely contain my excitement.

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  3. Boring, bland, yellow, thin and unflavoured. Oh I forgot one other thing. Over priced. No thanks.

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  4. Finally! Hopefully it’s not overpriced though. I’m usually a supporter of local breweries, but when i’m in the U.S. I always grab a case of Rolling Rock for 9.99 (12 pack).

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  5. Al

    Yeah I was collared into going to Lone Star grill on Front Street the other day after a conference and I happened to see it on tap, I had one, they called it a ‘pint’ but it was much smaller (like an Australian schooner) and wasn’t any good. Perhaps the hipsters will embrace it.

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  6. Ah yes… The beersnobs… It’s watery, blah, blah, blah. I am excited to see Rolling Rock finally in Canada but I will probably still buy it in the States because, as is typical in Canada, it will be over priced. I had a few pints at a bar in Toronto and they were charging 7 bucks… Outrageous! I say, for those who support micro breweries, let’s get rid of Brewers Retail and the LCBO; it will allow for more competition and better prices (’cause Mill St. is ridiculously over priced too).

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  7. Well here we are in “next month” (March) and still no sign of Rolling Rock at the beer store or LCBO. So when?

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  8. Cj

    Well it’s next, next month…..still no sign of Rolling Rock, yet the LCBO says there are thousands of cases being held at a facility in the GTA waiting to clear customs of some kind?

    Hey Beer News -What’s going on?

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  9. Just my two cents here…….how would you know how it’s doing at retail, if it isn’t even put on the shelves yet! I don’t see what the hesitation is here – Rolling Rock is a relatively well known imported beer compared to other lesser known European beers currently on the Lcbo’s shelves. For example who is running to the Lcbo to buy Fuller’s beer, not us…but we will be running in for Rolling Rock! In the past few weeks since the rock draughts have been available only at a few bars – it has been really popular. But I don’t go to bars to often…..I like to drink it at home.

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  10. Yes where is Rolling Rock? I’ve always been a pro-canadain beer guy..

    Until I tried rolling rock on a work trip to Indy about 15 years ago.

    It is a great beer! Right up there with Moosehead and Creemore Lager!

    Eventually you get passed the brain wash shit they put in your heads as a kid and go wow, there are lots of great beers out there.

    Hopefully no gouging – I am way to cheap to pay $37/case! Rip off.

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  11. Rolling Rock is now being rolled out at the LCBO. $2.25 for a 16oz can + $0.10 deposit.

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  12. Rolling Rock is not that bad of a beer. The Ontario price is a rip-off; $13.95 for a six-pack of 16oz cans. Was in the US for Victoria Day weekend and picked-up a six-pack of RR for $5.79; just a price differential of over 140%.

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  13. We found out about Rolling Rock this Summer while we were in Montana. Great stuff and our friends and family all agree. I was excited to see that the local Original Joe’s franchises finally have it on tap in Western Canada but I would love to see it in stores. I hope the brand has success and that Labatt’s decides to keep it in Canadian Retailers.

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  14. Its out in Québec $ 9 for 4 20 ounce – not the same recipe

    and surely not brewed from the glass lined tanks of Latrobe Penn.

    But then U.S. Rolling Rock is brewed in Newark N.J. now

    To hell with Wall street protests – lets protest for real beer………

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  15. Please tell me it is the same recipe as the old rolloing rock.
    what a product, thin, yet punchy. tasted nothing like it since it they stopped making it.
    fill up some of them breen iconic bottles and ship it over here in the UK.

    we loved it

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  16. Just walked into the Old Station Pub in Nanaimo and here is Rolling Rock on tap. Sweet. Drank some this summer US proof and it was fine tasting even light on the alcohol. This tastes even better.

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  17. Tastes good to me!

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  18. I first had one of these beers in the states 15 years ago at a local hangout in Pits-field Massachusetts called the Ground Round. Two bucks for a 22oz mug!

    Yuuuuup, it’s pricey in BC but works out to the same as a case of miller when you buy 9 tall boys.

    I loved it then and I love it now!

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  19. Well, it looks like this American beer no sooner tried to make a presence in Ontario, Canada, it is now being discontinued. That’s fine, because there’s more than enough American beers in Canada.

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    • CBN

      Where does your info come from about it being discontinued, John?

      I ask because everything I’ve heard is that it’s been doing quite well for Labatt – so well in fact that it’s rumoured production for Canada has been moved to Ontario.

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