LITTLE CURRENT – A key calling card of Manitoulin Island’s heritage will soon be available across Ontario, as the Manitoulin Brewing Company (MBC)’s Haw Eaters’ Brew is now available in LCBO outlets from St. Thomas to Smith’s Falls and Sault Ste. Marie, with more stores to follow shortly.
“It’s a good time for the Haw Eaters’ Brew. It’s a light, easy-drinking, crisp, clean and refreshing beer that’s perfect for the summer,” said Victoria Pitawanakwat, a sales representative for MBC.
She and fellow sales representative John Kift have been working hard to get the product listed in LCBOs alongside their four beers that are already listed province-wide: Swing Bridge Blonde Ale, Bridal Veil Pale Ale, Killarney Cream Ale and Cup and Saucer English ale.
Although MBC already has a working relationship with the LCBO through their above four products, the journey of getting this beer accepted province-wide required six months of applications and screenings before getting green-lit at the corporate level.
“It’s a fairly involved process. We had to have the product tested and send samples out to headquarters. We got it approved last week and as soon as it’s in, we start asking LCBO (outlets) to push it across Ontario,” said Ms. Pitawanakwat.
That push has involved placing phone calls five days per week to set up orders with brand ambassadors and store managers at outlets across the province. Ms. Pitawanakwat said this beer is especially worth the trouble since it carries the spirit of haweaters across Ontario.
“This is the one of our five beers that really shows Manitoulin’s identity because of its haweater name. You get the story behind that on the can, too,” she said.
Production of the Haw Eaters’ Brew has ramped up significantly to handle the increased demand from its considerably enlarged distribution area. Throughout the summer, the sales team will continue pushing the product across Ontario.
“We’re trying to get into as many locations as we can to show what ‘haweater’ means to us here,” said Ms. Pitawanakwat. “It gets busy, but it’s a good busy.”
MBC’s Haw Eaters’ Brew is currently available in 31 LCBO outlets across Ontario. Ms. Pitawanakwat said that if one’s local LCBO outlet is not carrying the product, they can request the store manager to bring it into their offering.
Haw Eaters’ Brew is already on the shelves locally in Espanola, Gore Bay, Killarney, Little Current and Manitowaning, in addition to MBC’s outlet in Little Current which also carries a wider variety of its seasonal and small batch creations.