Brewmasters in London, Ont. are getting the recipe for two iconic beers to begin the first-ever Canadian production of Stella Artois and Corona.
Anheuser-Busch InBev has decided to make the Belgium and Mexican beer at its Labatt Brewery facility in the southwestern Ontario city.
It’s not known precisely when bottles destined for the Canadian market will roll off the production line, but the company expects the labels will read “made in London” by late 2021.
“We’re extremely proud that Labatt was chosen for our brewing expertise, our ability to consistently achieve high standards,” said Alex Martel, senior general manager of the London’s Labatt Brewery.
“More importantly, we have highly capable employees here that will show that we can brew those global brands with the highest standard,” he said.
Stella Artois is currently brewed in Belgium, while Corona is made in Mexico, but Martel said the import disruptions brought on by pandemic have highlighted the need to brew domestically.
But the process will be long. Martel said Anheuser-Busch InBev will update the London facility with the right equipment, and then the certification process for brewmasters begins.
“That process is independent for each brand,” Martel explained. “Every step, from selecting the ingredients, making sure that water has the right chemistry, that we’re following the exact brewing processes, including the quality check and ultimately the expert taste panel.”
The company said it doesn’t expect a hiring blitz at the London facility, but intends to train those already employed.
Martel said they’ll continue to brew the same amount of their Bud and Labatt brands, and said adding Corona and Stella Artois means increasing production by 16-million “two-four” cases per year.