Posted February 12, 2015

Feature: Wading through Canada’s beer lobbyist groups

Two major beer lobbyist groups exist in Canada.

Canada’s National Brewers has gained much notoriety lately as the lobbyist group representing the three stakeholders/owners of The Beer Store in Ontario –Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Canada and Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

The spokesperson for Canada’s National Brewers is President and CEO, Jeff Newton, who has been seen in the media on point for recent Beer Store controversy.

Looking for more information regarding Canada’s National Brewers? Google it; Beer Canada is the first result returned. However, Luke Harford is the President of Beer Canada, not Newton (Canada’s National Brewers has no primary Web presence.)

Dig deeper and you might land yourself at the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada identifying Newton as the President of a third entity, the Brewers Association of Canada.


beer-canadaBeer Canada was formerly known as Brewers Association of Canada. Jeff Newton was President until 2003 and then went on to preside at Canada’s National Brewers in 2004.

In 2013, the Brewers Association of Canada reinvented themselves as Beer Canada with Luke Harford at the top.

What do these two groups do? Canada’s National Brewers advocates on behalf of The Beer Store representing Molson Coors, Labatt, and Sapporo. Beer Canada campaigns for 29 Canadian breweries, including numerous craft brewers, at the federal and international level.

It should be noted, though, that Beer Canada’s board of directors include Stewart Glendinning, CEO of MolsonCoors Canada; Carlos Lisboa, President, Labatt Breweries of Canada; and John Sleeman as Chairman.

On the other hand, craft brewers’ representation on the Beer Canada board of directors includes Gary McMullen, President of Muskoka Brewery and Jim Button of Village Brewery in Calgary. There’s also representation from Brick Brewing, Moosehead, and Bierbrier.

Beer Canada’s brewery membership includes nine Ontario brewers: Brick, Cassel, Kichesippi, Lake of the Woods, Magnotta, Mash Paddle, Muskoka, Perth and Wellington. They publish a Quarterly Industry Update provided to every brewer in Canada outlining their activity in Ottawa.

See More:
Beer Canada Annual Statistical Bulletin 2014 [PDF] Beer Canada 2014 Annual Report [PDF]

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