Emerging in the wake of yesterday’s Canada Day celebrations is the fact that one of Canada’s largest macro brewers will be doing something surprisingly generous for the smaller guys, in the name of Canadian patriotism. Molson has created a new mixed variety pack that will contain only a single Molson Canadian lager. The rest? Canadian craft beers from a wide range of breweries in each of the country’s provinces, with each variety pack potentially being completely different.
The concept was originally born out of a planned promotion for the now-canceled Olympic Games, but after they were pushed back, the folks at Molson (acquired by Coors in 2005) decided to refocus the concept on Canadian beer itself, while also evoking the brand’s popular “I am Canadian” ads that ran from 1994-2005. The new cases of beer will indeed contain a single Molson Canadian lager, but the vast majority of attention will be on craft breweries that choose to participate from each region. Forbes reports, for instance, that the Ontario case included beer from breweries such as Creemore Springs, Hockley Valley Brewing, Lake of the Woods Brewing Co., Something in the Water Brewery, Radical Road Brewing Co. and Equals Brewing Co. Even another Ontario pack, however, would likely include beer from different breweries—or different beer selections from the same breweries.
“We wanted to do something in community and culture that really unites Canada,” said Joy Ghosh, marketing director at Molson. “Even though we’re more connected now with technology, people are more distanced socially than ever before. We’re proud of the great beers we have here. We’re the oldest brewer, not only in Canada but in North America, so we thought it was our duty to support.”
Part of the reason for that “distance” is obviously the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but even that challenge has played its part in making online access to beer more universal and accepted. In this case, drinkers can nominate breweries they’d like to see included in the variety packs via social media, and Molson will reach out to inquire if they’d like to participate. The cases can be bought straight from the Molson website … for Canadians, of course … with a portion of each purchase donated to an unspecified charity.
“The unintended benefits of Covid-19 is the acceleration of e-commerce and the sale of beer online,” said Ghosh. “It’s become such a normal consumer behavior to order online now as people are looking to expedite their access to beer. By having supply chain fulfillment, it allows us to deliver on the consumer need of supporting small and natural bottles.”
In some cases, the variety packs will be so randomized that it will in fact be the delivery driver creating them, according to Ghosh. Customers really won’t know what kind of goodies they’ll be getting, but they’ll all be thoroughly Canadian.
“All the logistics happen in the backend—the delivery driver will have our cases designed and a list of participating brewers,” said Ghosh. “They create a mix of beers and drop it on the consumer’s doorstep. Every case will be a bit different. Beers represent neighborhoods. Their cities, their provinces and states, and their countries.”