Molson Coors officially broke ground today, kicking off the construction for what will be the company's most modern brewing facility and distribution centre to date. The project represents a major investment and a new chapter in the company's 230 plus years in Canada.
This new brewery and distribution center in the City of Longueuil, on the on the opposite side from Montreal across the Saint Lawrence River, is one of the largest investments in Molson Coors’ history—and a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to Greater Montreal.
In July last year, the company announced plans to close its 231-year-old brewery in downtown Montreal and build a new one nearby. The decision was made after a two-year study found out that building a new plant will be more efficient than updating the existing operations. The location of the new site had not yet been selected last year. "For sure it will not be in downtown Montreal because there is no land. We're looking for a green field,” said François Lefebvre, director of corporate affairs for Molson Coors Canada at that time. (inside.beer, 17.7.2017)
Molson Coors Canada will maintain a presence on Notre-Dame Street; administrative offices will continue to be based at the current site in Montreal and the company will create an experience that helps bring the Molson story to life. In fact, the façade of the new brewery will integrate architectural elements that will be a permanent reminder of the company's legacy.
"Molson's arrival is a milestone in Longueuil's business history and proves without any doubt that our City has established itself as a partner of choice for a company of this magnitude, while also serving as a testament to our economic vitality," enthused Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent.
The location, with an area of more than 140 acres, offers access to high quality water, highways, ports, Hydro-Québec services, natural-gas conduits, as well as a nearby wastewater treatment plant. As such, it meets all of the essential criteria for modern brewing operations.
The company will continue to pay tribute to its history, beginning with the renaming of Romeo Vachon street in Longueuil in honor of John Molson, made possible through the collaboration of the City of Longueuil. "We are very proud that a flagship company like Molson has chosen Longueuil and its airport zone as the site where it will forge ahead with its future development," said Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent. "Naming the street in honour of its renowned founder is just one way for us to recognize the company's significant contribution to economic development in Greater Montreal for more than 200 years."
For Frederic Landtmeters, president and CEO, Molson Coors Canada, this project connects the company's storied past to the industry's future. "Molson Coors Canada is the oldest continuously operating brewer in North America, and Canada's second oldest company. I'm confident that this new integrated distribution centre and brewery will enable the company to support more efficiently Quebec's direct store delivery model, to meet the challenging demands of Quebec markets and remain competitive," he said.
"The project will be our most modern and forward-looking production facility and distribution centre," added Matthew Hook, chief supply chain officer, Molson Coors Canada. "The new brewery will be equipped with improved technologies that will allow us to reduce our energy consumption, CO2 emissions and carbon footprint, such as optimized equipment layouts to reduce beer loss and waste, and a state-of-the-art CO2 recovery system."
Local trades, services contractors and operators have been hired to ececute the project. Pomerleau-Alberici, a partnership between Pomerleau and Alberici Constructors, has been selected to lead the design and construction of the project. There will be approximately 500-800 workers on site during the total duration of the project.
Molson Coors Canada will be seeking LEEDS certification, which is consistent with the brewer's drive for optimal performance standards related to sustainability and respect for our environment. It will be one of the few certified industrial sites in Canada.