Molson Coors has confirmed speculation and announced the company will be opening a new brewery in Chilliwack.
The new brewery will be built south of the Fraser on a 36-acre site.
Gavin Thompson with Molson Coors Canada says today is a big day.
“As North America’s oldest brewer it is quite a big deal when you do move brewery locations, but especially big news when you build a brand new brewery within a province, so this is a very exciting day for us.”
Thompson says the new location could be operational by late 2018 or early 2019.
Until then the company will continue to use its current Burrard Street facility.
Building the brewery to create thousands of community jobs
Chilliwack mayor Sharon Gaetz says the community is thrilled about the announcement. And apparently, so are the small breweries in town.
“With a couple of breweries already here in town and now a third on its way, it just puts our little town Chilliwack on the map renowned for its great resources and brewing industry.”
Gord Gagne is co-owner of a microbrewery in Chilliwack and says having Molson in the city will help make it a destination-driven community.
Even though Gagne’s brewery is much smaller, he says having another brewery in town benefits everyone.
“The new plant is fantastic for picking Chilliwack due to its resources around the area with the hops and the water. And the big corporation coming into town it’s going to create a lot of jobs locally here in town as well.”
Union says cheers to the move
Meanwhile, the union representing workers at Vancouver’s Molson-Coors brewery is giving the the thumbs up as well.
Business Agent Gerry Bergunder says the union is thrilled the plant will stay in B.C.
The brewery stopped bottling beer last year, and Bergunder says he doesn’t expect another big round of cuts.
“I think the majority of the downsizing is done. People will probably retire rather than go out to Chilliwack. So it will give the junior people more of an opportunity to continue working.”
Bergunder says if anything, he’s hopeful the bigger plant could have a new bottling line, possibly bringing on more staff.