Sapporo International‘s production at the Sleeman facilities is getting a little too large, and the Japan-based brewery plans to sell its Dartmouth, Nova Scotia facility and shift 200,000hL of production at its Guelph, Ontario facility to the U.S. as of June.
The production capacity that will exit the Guelph plant is beer already thumbnailed for export to the U.S. market, and Sapporo will shift that production to a third-party brewing partner south of the border. As for the brewing facility in Dartmouth, the close would affect 32 jobs. Sapporo stated it hopes to sell the facility to another brewery, but the deadline is tight. Should an appropriate buyer not be found by June, the Nova Scotia brewery will be shut down.
“The impetus behind our intent to sell the Dartmouth facility, which produces less than two per cent of annual volume, is to establish the long-term competitive resilience we need in an aggressive market by taking advantage of the economies of scale our North American operations offer,” said Shige Yokoi, president and CEO of Sleeman Breweries, in a statement.
According to Yokoi, Sapporo has been increasing its North American market share in a brewing category where there is only modest growth. The upcoming changes are meant to “consolidate and maximize momentum,” and that means making immediate changes across its North American operations.
The company noted it is already engaging prospective buyers for the Dartmouth brewery, but there’s no word on who those buyers might be. Sapporo made no comment on how moving 200,000hL of production to the U.S. will affect its employees in Guelph.