The Beer Store has denied favouring some brewers over others

The Beer Store has denied favouring some brewers over others

Canadian beer retailer The Beer Store has rejected claims it is partly responsible for Calgary-based Minhas Craft Brewery's decision to abandon plans to build a new brewery in the country.

Minhas, which already has a brewery in Wisconsin in the US, claimed to Canadian newspapers earlier this month that The Beer Store, which is owned by major Canadian brewers Molson Canada, Labatt and Sleeman, had delayed selling its new Boxer lager brand. The move led to Minhas dropping plans to build a brewery in Hamilton, near Toronto.

Beer Store spokesman Jeff Newton said that the allegations were “inaccurate, misleading, and not supported by real facts”. He dismissed Minhas’ claim that The Beer Store – which handles 85% of Ontario's beer off-sales and operates one of the two Ontario licensed beer retailers - does not support non-owners.

“Our system is open to any brewer,” said Newton, adding that the retailer's licence allowed third party sales. Newton said small brewers make up 20% of the chain’s brands. “We have 90 brewers … and only three … are owners,” he said.

Minhas was not available for comment when contacted by just-drinks.