Canada: Craft distiller G&W bought by Labatt

Labatt Breweries of Canada, the Canadian arm of AB InBev, has acquired the independent craft distillery Goodridge & Williams (also known as G&W) from Delta, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company is best known for its ready-to-drink canned cocktails, including Nutrl Vodka Soda, which launched in 2017 and has grown to become the country’s fastest-growing vodka soda brand. Besides that, the company’s portfolio comprises the Tempo Renovo Craft Gin, Bitterhouse Aperitiffs, Goodridge & Williams Canadian Whisky, Sid The Handcrafted Vodka and Nutrl Vodka.

“Nutrl is currently the fastest growing vodka soda ready-to-drink beverage and represents close to half of the vodka soda segment. Considering the growth of the category and the segment we see continued growth opportunities for this brand,” said Paul Meehan, who runs a creative agency in Vancouver and took control of the distillery in 2013.

“The ready-to-drink category in Canada has grown by double digits in recent years,” said Labatt president Kyle Norrington. “The vodka soda market, in particular, saw triple-digit growth over the past three years”, he added.

Labatt said it wanted to dedicate its “resources, distribution channels and national sales footprint to further new growth of the G&W brands and increase their availability to consumers across Canada.”

“As a family-owned Canadian company, we’ve always been dedicated to working with the best people and using only the finest ingredients,” said Paul Meehan, President of G&W. “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved with our brands, as a leader and disruptor in the ready-to-drink market in Canada. With my background of more than 30 years in the local and global beer business, we’re excited to partner with Labatt, another leader and driving force in Canada, to connect with even more consumers in the coming years.”

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