HAMILTON, ON – Labatt Breweries announced today that it is closing the Lakeport Brewing plant in Hamilton as of April 30th, and will be shifting production of the Lakeport brands to its London facility.
In a statement, Labatt said that the move is “the result of the need to improve operating efficiency in a demanding market”, and is the “only rational business decision available to us”. The closure will result in the loss of jobs for 143 workers, including 99 hourly and 22 salaried who are currently working, as well as another 22 who are laid off.
Labatt purchased the Lakeport brewery and brands in February, 2007 in order to capture a large percentage of Ontario’s lucrative discount/”buck-a-beer” market.
UPDATE: The Hamilton Spectator reports that “the (brewing) equipment in the building will be hauled away” by Labatt after the closure. This will make it difficult, if not impossible, for another brewery to be established in the facility.