Beer shortage caused by Molson Coors strike looms in parts of Quebec, bar owners warn

·1 min read

MONTREAL — The head of the Quebec bar owners' association says some suds sellers could soon run dry because of an ongoing strike at a Molson Coors brewery.

Renaud Poulin says in a phone interview that since Monday he' has received dozens of calls from pub owners who are worried they may be out of beer by next week, in particular those in rural parts of the province and under exclusive contract with Molson Coors.

In a letter to Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, the Corporation des Propriétaires de Bars, Brasseries et Tavernes du Québec calls on the provincial government to ease restrictions on beer sales and let them buy beer from other retail outlets for resale at the saloon.

Under provincial regulations, bars and restaurants can only sell bottles that are marked specifically for "on-site" consumption, as opposed to those intended for home consumption that are sold at convenience and grocery stores.

Owners are now looking out of province for cases to fill the void left by Molson products, but a limited supply of beer packaged in the on-site-branded bottles means many pubs are facing a shortage.

Frédéric Bourgeois-LeBlanc, a spokesman for Molson Coors, where 420 workers have been on strike at a new plant on Montreal's South Shore since March 25, says a contingency plan to deliver products to clients is underway and that the door remains open for negotiations with the Teamsters union.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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