The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation's Rock Spirits facility is expanding with a new canning production line that will dole out thousands of cases of Lamb's Sociable after the NLC and Corby Distilleries — owners of Lamb's Rum — reached an exclusive production deal.
With the added production line comes at least two more jobs at the facility, which currently employs 45 people. NLC president and CEO Bruce Keating told members of the media on Tuesday there could be more added.
"We'll see how we grow the business with additional orders and things like that, so there is potential there maybe for more," Keating said.
The facility bottles spirits — including Screech Rum, Old Sam Rum and George Street Spiced Rum — that are shipped to 34 different countries. It also has other partnerships, including with Crystal Head Vodka, Iceberg and the Newfoundland Distillery Company, whose products are bottled at the facility.
Last year 12,000 cases of Lamb's Sociable — a ready to drink beverage — were sold across the province.
Keating said the line has the capacity to produce 75,000 cases of canned beverages a year. About 22,000 of those will be for Corby Distilleries, which produces Lamb's Sociable, a canned cocktail, in Ontario, and has a long-standing relationship with the NLC.
The investment in canning alcoholic drinks at the St. John's plant, just shy of $500,000, comes from a high volume of growth in sales of ready-to-drink products like Lamb's Sociable, said Keating. He said the decision was made prior to the last fiscal year, and remained on schedule through the pandemic in time to begin canning Corby products.
N.L. breweries can also avail of the new production line, said Keating, who added extra shifts could be added to double the line's production to 150,000 cases per year if necessary.
"Knowing this was coming online, we reached out to craft breweries and things like that to understand how we might be able to use this line to support them and also support what we want to do at NLC," he said.