Something is brewing for the Great Western Brewing Company of Saskatoon
A Saskatchewan brewery is brewing something, and it’s not just beer.
The Great Western Brewing Company of Saskatoon is looking to expand and update its current technology, while retaining the historic parts of the brewery built in the 1920s.
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“At 94, he’s starting to show his age,” admitted Michael Brennan, CEO of Great Western. “Every day we risk one of our pieces breaking and we won’t be able to produce beer.
“It’s a risk that I can’t live with as a CEO, so that’s what really motivated it. “
Great Western Brewing is in talks with the City of Saskatoon to approve zoning for a brewery addition that would be built in the existing parking lot.
If approved, construction will begin next year.
“We have been talking with the city for several months, but we have now started the formal process with them,” said Brennan. “They have to go through an approval process because the zoning of this area was changed many years ago, so we’re not actually zoned to add a new brewery on this site.”
The expansion would cost the company around $ 40 million and double current beer production to 100 million cans per year.
“It will be one of the most modern breweries in the country,” said Brennan. “Right now we’re using around 900 liters of water to make 100 liters of beer and we’re going to cut that in half. “
Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce CEO Jason Aebig says he’s excited to see how the expansion will bring more business to a growing area of the city.
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“I think this is a great development for Saskatoon, because it is actually an expansion of the city’s business core into the downtown area north,” Aebig said. “With Great Western’s expansion, this will continue to make 2nd Avenue North a key trade corridor. “
“It’s great because with the opening of River Landing and now these flagship businesses on 2nd Avenue North, it kind of locks up the books downtown and we’re starting to really see the core expansion, this which is exciting for all of us. ”
He says it’s a testament to the company that despite decades of challenges and a recent pandemic, Great Western Brewing is still creating more jobs and growth in Saskatchewan.
“It’s a unique Saskatoon success story,” he said. “We should all be very proud of this and truly delighted that this company continues to grow and take root here.”
Great Western CEO says this is an achievement he is proud to add a chapter to.
“What excites me the most are the 16 gentlemen who, 31 years ago, took the risk of keeping this brewery alive in the city,” said Brennan. “And (the fact that) we can continue this legacy for these gentlemen.”
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He adds that they are excited to offer more job opportunities at a difficult time for the people of the province.
“We employ 100 people in western Canada. The majority of them are here in the city. Being able to build on site allows us to use our existing packaging facilities without having to reinvest in them, while preserving jobs.
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