HALIFAX, NS – Labatt Breweries announced this morning that production of some Alexander Keith’s brands will be shifting from the Oland Brewery in Halifax to facilities in other provinces, leading to layoffs for up to 39 staff members
According to reports from CBC News and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, much of the production of Keith’s IPA, Keith’s Premium White, and Keith’s Red Amber Ale will be moving to Labatt-owned plants in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland in order to have the beer brewed closer to where it is being sold. Keith’s Light and Keith’s Dark Ale will continue to be brewed exclusively at the Oland plant in Halifax.
Labatt spokesperson Wade Keller told the CBC that layoffs will include 17 temporary jobs being phased out in the next few months, and that the company hoped to limit layoffs of permanent staff to 10 people. However, union president Larry Deal stated that staff at the Oland plant were told that as many as 22 permanent staff may be affected.
The Chronicle-Herald is also reporting that protests against the move have already started on Twitter and Facebook, with angry Keith’s drinkers indicating that they will be boycotting the brand due to Labatt’s decision.
It should be noted that this is not the first time Keith’s will be brewed outside of Nova Scotia, as production of Keith’s IPA for the Western market was shifted to the Labatt-owned Columbia Brewery in Creston, BC in 2009. However, this will be the first time that the majority of Keith’s brands will be brewed outside of the province.