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CANADA: Wild Rose Brewery appoints former Big Rock president as new CEO

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Canadian craft beer maker Wild Rose Brewery has appointed a new CEO as it prepares to expand its brewing facilities.

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Former Big Rock Brewery president Bill McKenzie, who resigned from the group in March, takes over from Jamie Vadori, who has left to pursue online marketing interests, McKenzie told just-drinks late yesterday (20 September). Vadori was CEO at the Calgary brewer for two years. 

McKenzie has held senior management positions in Molson-Coors and Diageo Canada, as well as with Big Rock Brewery. He began his new role on Monday.

“It'll be fun working with a company with such a rich history within the Alberta marketplace,” McKenzie said. “This definitely is a company positioned for a very long and positive future.”

Wild Rose Brewery is expanding its Calgary facilities from its Currie Barracks headquarters to additional space in the south-east of the city, due for completion next year. The expansion will allow the brewery to continue serving its current market and accommodate increasing demand while building a larger marketing footprint, the company said.

“We're definitely focusing on expansion at the moment,” McKenzie said. "The first phase of development, due for completion next spring, will double capacity, with the option to quadruple it over the next four years," he said.
“Demand is continuing to increase for craft beer in North America. Who knows what we could have been selling if we'd had more capacity (over the past few years)?”

McKenzie resigned from Big Rock Brewery after steering the company back into the black and increasing sales volumes to the highest in its history.


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