Canadian Manufacturing

Sleeman officially shutters Nova Scotia brewery; 15 jobs affected

Failed to sell brewery in Dartmouth, that was "too big for small operators, too small for large ones"



GUELPH, Ont.—Sleeman Breweries Ltd. is officially shuttering its brewery in Dartmouth, N.S., claiming sales talks for the facility broke off due to its awkward size.

According to the beer maker, it plans to close the plant at the end of the business day Nov. 28 after it failed to sell the plant this year.

It said 15 employees are affected by the decision, less than a month after it laid off 14 workers as part of a staff reduction at the facility.

Sleeman, which was bought by Japan’s Sapporo in 2006, purchased the former Maritime Brewery plant in 2000.

The company announced in March it was trying to sell the Dartmouth brewery, which produced less than two per cent of Sleeman’s annual volume.

Sleeman said it “made every effort” to sell the facility, but that it “exhausted its options and could not come to terms with prospective bidders.”

“We have been working for months on trying to maintain as many jobs as possible by selling the facility to a new brewery owner,” Sleeman national vice-president of operations Pierre Ferland said in a statement about the closure.

“This facility was too big for the small operators and too small for the large ones.”

Back in March, Sleeman president and CEO Shige Yokoi said the move to sell or close the plant was part of a strategy to meet growing demand for Sleeman and Sapporo in Canada and the United States in the short-term while boosting productivity across its North American operations.

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