Pain in the long neck

Terry Roberts
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Molson refutes accusation it breached bottle agreement by importing

A senior official with Molson Canada is denying a claim that the beer maker breached a long-standing bottle agreement with its main competitor, Labatt, by importing products brewed in Montreal and Moncton.

A boiler failure at the company's St. John's brewery on Jan. 26 resulted in a weeklong suds shutdown, and forced the company to import "emergency supply" from two breweries on the mainland, said Ferg Devins, vice-president of government and public affairs with Molson Canada.

Jamie Stoyles of Hearn Distributing shows the difference between the long neck beer bottle (left) brought into the province by Molson recently and the bottle normally used by Newfoundland and Labrador bottlers. - Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

A senior official with Molson Canada is denying a claim that the beer maker breached a long-standing bottle agreement with its main competitor, Labatt, by importing products brewed in Montreal and Moncton.

A boiler failure at the company's St. John's brewery on Jan. 26 resulted in a weeklong suds shutdown, and forced the company to import "emergency supply" from two breweries on the mainland, said Ferg Devins, vice-president of government and public affairs with Molson Canada.

"It was a short-term measure to ensure beer drinkers would have a supply of their favourite Molson product," Devins said Monday from Calgary.

The company imported its three top brands - Molson Canadian, Canadian Light and Coors Light.

But that supply came in the form of so-called "long neck" bottles, and not the short necks that Molson and Labatt are required to use in this province as part of a closed market bottle agreement.

Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province in Canada where the two beer makers use the short necks. Under the agreement, they will continue to do so until both companies agree to make the switch.

Devins said the imported products were "strictly for St. John's and surrounding area," and should soon be all sold.

And to ensure the shutdown does not have a negative impact on production at the St. John's brewery, an equivalent amount of beer will be exported from Newfoundland to the Atlantic Canadian market, Devins said.

"We're fully compliant with the intent and the spirit of the bottle agreement," said Devins, adding that the company received permission from the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. (NLC), the Crown agency that manages the importation, sale and distribution of alcohol in the province.

He also advised his counterpart at Labatt.

The St. John's company that distributes Labatt products, Hearn Distributing Ltd., has complained to the NLC, saying the decision to allow the import of beer was done without consultation, causes problems for the collection of returnables, gives an unfair market advantage to Molson, and undermines the local beer manufacturing industry.

In a Feb. 6 letter to Steve Winter, president and CEO of the liquor corporation, Jaime Stoyles said the decision to allow the import of beer was "unethical, unprofessional and intolerable."

"We should boycott these tall neck bottles from Montreal and buy brands made right here," Stoyles, operations manager with Hearn Distributing, stated in the letter.

She accused Molson of importing amounts "well above their needed inventory" in order to capitalize on the novelty of long necks in this province.

"Molson is the only party that stands to gain from this agreement breach," she said.

Devins, however, said there was no conniving involved. He stressed it was a "short-term fix" and said Molson is taking full responsibility for the collection of the glass bottles. He also noted that roughly four per cent of the beer sold in this province is imported, and is sold in long neck bottles.

Asked how much beer was imported, Devins would only say it was enough to supply the market for two weeks.

When reached Monday, Winter said a lawyer for the corporation was reviewing the issue and he wouldn't be commenting.

An employee at Fitz's Cold Beer in St. John's said they have seen about 10 dozen long neck empties returned in recent days. He said they haven't caused any problems.

"It's no different than when the 15-pack came out. We put them aside separately. They still stack up the same way in the cooler," said the employee.

troberts@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Molson Canada, Labatt, NLC Hearn Distributing Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Crown agency

Geographic location: St. John's, Montreal, Newfoundland and Labrador Moncton Calgary Canada

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Recent comments

  • Laura
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    First off, I would like to comment on the fact that people are upset about the fact that these long neck bottles were imported from the mainland. Perhaps people don't realize, but Labatt actually trucks in their Alexander Kieths. It isn't made here in the province, it is only bottled here. So lets build a birdge and get over that aspect of it.

    Also, as Brent Morgan mentioned, as is mentioned in the aritcle, there will be no time lost to employees due to the fact that the beer has to be returned to the providers of the long neck bottles. So in reality, wouldn't the brewery have to continue to produce regulary and probably even more now to replace this beer? Maybe not, but I can't see time being lost to their workers...

    Like many of you said, and also what I think, is that this is simply the Labatt's distributor whining because they feel the long neck bottles will be a threat to their products. . I think Molson made a wise choice to import product if it means meeting the demands of its newfoundland consumers and customers.

    All in all, this is a silly topic. Its Molson's temporary fix and soon enough the long neck bottles will be gone off the shelves and we'll be back to our normal bottles and we'll all still be drinking the same brands we always did regardless of what kind of package the drink comes in!!

  • Local
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    A Molson rep, a Labatts rep and a Quidi Vidi rep were attending a luncheon meeting in St. John's. When asked if they would like something to drink with their meal, the Molson rep said he would like a Molson Canadian. The Labatt's rep said he would like a Labatt's Blue. The Quidi Vidi rep said he would like a Coke. When asked why he would order a Coke, the Quidi Vidi rep said, If you two aren't going to order a beer, then I won't either!!!! .

  • Nate
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    1. No work will be lost. They have to produce it all and send it back

    2. It's TEMPORARY!! Long necks will be in the market for 2 weeks and our stubbies will be back, who cares??? It's a quick fix to problem.

    I don't think everyone is reading the entire article. The bottles/beer were brought in for 2 weeks of shipping in aid of a problem which is now taken care of, what's the big deal????????? Really????

  • Diane
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Why not make the switch to long-neck bottles....the beer tastes so much better!!
    Why do we have to be so different from the rest of Canada.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Molsons had a problem that prevented them from brewing beer. Equipment problems happen in any industry and you work around the problem as best you can. Molsons were only looking after their customers by temporarily importing beer while their facility in St. John's was down. Labbats is just trying to stir up s#!* trying to make Molsons look bad for looking after their customers.

    I guess that Labbats would leave their customers out in the cold if they were placed in the same situation. NOT LIKELY.

  • Robert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Pathetic. One brewery has production problems and imports some beer as a temporary replace so they'll at least have a product on the market, and the other whines that they didn't get a chance to become a monopoly. Cry me a river. This was sad enough being run as a letter to the editor, but for it to be escalated to a cover story speaks of the apparent lack of anything happening in this city.

  • roberto
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    here is a novel idea! why not drop the provincial barriers so that other canadian beer from any province can be found here.
    better still have any imported beer a person wants be able to be found here.

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Thanks to the Hibernia GBS, I had many opportunities to visit Newfoundland during my drinking days. My favourite beer was Black Horse (don't remember who brewed it). Besides, who cares about longnecks or shortnecks, that Jaime Stoyles is HOT!!!

    (I find it interesting that this controversy should generate more comments than the threatened Nurses strike, which has the potential to be life-threatening in its impact.)

  • Dennis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Is this still available? When I lived in NB, I liked drinking Canadian. I hate it here. When I was back there in October, I tasted it, and it was great. There's definitely a difference.

  • brewer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    NL has the poorest selection of beer in the country. Very small and limited selection of foreign imports and even smaller selection of Canadian micro brews. Beer never goes on sale and no discount brands. A discount brand would capture a big market share quuickly. In short the NLC need to get with the times.

  • greg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Over the past five years, the Williams Administration allowed Molson and Labatt to bring mainland beer into this province time and time again, even though the same brands are made in our St. John's breweries. Mr. Hearn forgot to tell you Keiths is not brewed in this province either.The NLC is helping Labatt and Molson destroy the brewing industry in this Province. Without proper monitoring and enforcement these companies would have you pouring beer on your bran flakes. Time for the NLC to get tough with these mainland bullies and protect our brewing industry jobs. Cheers!

  • Robert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    'Devins said the imported products were 'strictly for St. John's and surrounding area,' and should soon be all sold.'

    I don't think it was limited to the St. John's region. At a bar in Corner Brook this past Friday, I was sold a long neck bottle. I am 100% sure because I chipped my teeth on it.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    There should be a representative for beer brewed in Newfoundland and Labrador here in Ontario, like the Screech. We get the products from New Bruinswick and Nova Scotia, why not Newfoundland and Labrador?

    If Molson can ship the beer into Newfoundland and Labrador, it can surely export it from the province. The beer brewed in the province has its own unique class, and it,s too bad the beer outlets of Newfoundland are so far away as we would stock up on the weekends and during Hockey Night In Canada, Grey Cup events and The World Series.

    The Sportsmen's Fishing program filmed in the province by Dwight Blackwood and his crew gives the QV beer its own unique flavour. I have to bring back a few cases when I visit again.

    Molson Canadian is my favourite, and if they don,t treat Newfoundlanders better , we should not heaitate to make it known. They owe this service to their life long customers, and the original Molson family owners would not treat their customers like this. One never gets the same service when traditional brewers sell out to others.

    I,ll tip my hat to the QV beer, brewed in Newfoundland and Labrador like the fishing crew on The Sportsmen Fishing And Hunting Program . When I visit again, I,ll have a QV please.

    Frank Blackwood
    Newfoundland writer,

    **Formerly of Wesleyville, B. Bay

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I just read the letter to the editor titled... Molson beer bottles hurt local industry - Jaime Stoyles.

    There was not one fluid ounce of merit in his argument. Jaime Stoyles was all over the place and grasping at straws, much like that of an animal in it's death throes. Poor form Mr. Stoyles. Poor form.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I can't figure out how Molson gets the skunk to squat over the bottle!

  • guy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Hey Back at you ALBERTA listen if not for Newfoundlanders Alberta wouldn't be what it is today Newfies built alberta we are there to do the red necks work ,and if people ask me what I'm doing in Alberta I always say we are finished our work in newfoundland we are here to do yours now god bless the ROCK.and as for beers we have the best tasting beer anywhere in North America and as for alexander keiths beer is crap what do ya expect it came from Nova Scotia lol.

  • Michael
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    This is news??????? You folks are adding to the NL stereotype.

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    These companies are wasting their time and money thinking about this, talking to lawyers, having different beer bottles for Newfoundland? This is the lead story on the Telegram's website this morning? Wacky. I can't express in words how little I care about this. :)

  • charlie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    You are missing the point!!!

    This is beer made at another Molson brewery
    outside of Newfoundland.
    This is how it starts..... Then eventually they close down the plant here and import all the beer.

    Molson need to know their attempts to flood the market with non Newfoundland made suds
    will not be tolerated!
    I say boycott Molsons for a few weeks and let them know any attempt to bring in beer from another province will not be tolerated.

  • Adam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Folks,

    Most of the comments I have read in response to this article have made me sick. Some of the comments made were valid, but followed up with childish lines insulting each other's choice of product. This erases the merit of any point you may have been trying to get across.
    Other comments were made by individuals who have not done their homework and who are unaware of the facts at hand.

    The closed market bottle agreement, the tariffs on imports, and the agreement that balances the export/import volume of beer are in place, in large part, to protect the employees of both companies.

    Molson has stated that an equivalent volume of product will be brewed here to be distributed to the Atlantic Canadian market. I can assure you that the beer will leave here in tanker trucks- to be bottled in mainland plants. The bottling labour hours lost by importing the market-ready long-necks will not be recovered.

    As for the Keith's issue, Keith's is imported by tanker and bottled here. An equivalent volume of Newfoundland-brewed beer is then exported by tanker to the mainland. This balances the lost labour hours due to Keith's being brewed at Oland Breweries in Halifax.

    This is not a sales issue- the market share gained by Molson, even if traditionally Labatt drinkers bought all the long-necks imported, would not be significant- it would be a mere drop in the bucket compared to the annual sales of either company.

    If Molson and Labatt find it more economical to import beer that is brewed and bottled on the mainland and we do nothing to stop them from ignoring the agreements in place to prevent this, then we may find that both breweries will become distribution warehouses to distribute beer brewed and bottled elsewhere.

    When we allow companies to ignore agreements that protect the employment of our fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians then we find ourselves at the mercy of global corporations who care little about us, who only read the bottom line.

    Another case of our stubbornness in a short-term issue leading to detrimental long-term consequences.

  • Ferg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Robert from Cornerbrook you are absolutely correct. Naturally the largest region being St. John's was the initial focus but we were prepared to ensure that every beer drinker in Newfoundland Labrador would not have an interuption in receiving their Molson brands. Thus we were prepared to cover the province. As stated, this was a short term fix only. Our boiler was back up and running Feb 2 and producing and pacakging in St. John's. Thanks to our loyal beer drinkers in Newfoundland and Labardor for your understanding. Cheers.

  • Cyrus
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Obviously a few of you haven't done your research before commenting. Some of this is laughable.

    First and foremost, Keiths products are tankered in to the province, brought to the warehouse and bottled. If it was trucked here bottled, don't you think they as well would be in long necked bottles as Nova Scotia uses? Yes, they would be. You needn't think that Labatt sends trucks full of empty short necked bottles to Nova Scotia. As the only canadian province that uses the short necks, they are therefore bottled here. This doesn't take away any employment here, as only the brewing is done on the mainland.

    Secondly, years ago both companies were summoned to pay a $10 million fee to convert to the long necks, Labatt obliged, Molson didn't. Now they have an agreement in place that they will not use the long necks. This agreement was breached when Mr. Winters allowed Molson to bring in the long necked bottles to help with their little misfortune at the plant. I am curious as to what brand of beer Mr. Winters drinks........moving on

    Lastly, when the order was placed, they received more than was required. Now as a marketing scheme, they have placed this product on shelves. Even though their plant was back up and fully functional, they have failed to pull the long necked bottles from retail stores and replace them with the short necked ones.

    As is with most businesses across Newfoundland and Canada for that matter, it all boils down to the almighty $$ and who knows who. I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine.

    That all being said, it was very unneccessary of Mrs. Stoyles to state what she did, very unprofessional.

  • steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Sounds to me like Labatts is not doing so well in the market. Maybe they should sell more beer and less whine....

  • Brent
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    To charlie mcfee: It clearly states in the article that the amoung of beer being shipped in is going to be shipped out again to be provided to the atlantic provinces. This insures that no work hours are lost. There is no way that the plant in St. John's is going to close anytime soon with the amount of beer it produces.

  • Aaron
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I haven't drank Labatt's since they dropped the 's.

    I can't ask for a ....Labatt.

  • Nelson
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    To George from Fort Mac, thanks but that was 42 years ago. Any newer dates?

  • JK
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    This is all Harper's fault.

  • ron
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    This may seem like no big deal to some but think outside the box for a moment,there can be a ripple effect if this goes unchallenged.First once the door is open for the exportation of a product people in this province who depend on made right here will begin losing there jobs,everyone from manufacturers,distributors,sales,advertising,accounting and all the people who benefit from the sponsorship they provide.The first job(s) lost because of it or when beer prices double because their made not right here ... then it will be a day late and a dollar short.

  • steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    pssst...Graham...Jamie is a GIRL

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Nelson from NL writes: I would think that all Newfoundlanders would agree that there is no better tasting or softer water in Canada then here.
    -------------------------
    The best water I have ever tasted was when I lived in Labrador City in 1967, and I have tasted water in every province.

  • Neil
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Out with the competition agreements, lets have a beer price and offer war....Molson and Labatts should be fighting each other for my beer buck. And believe me, it would be worth it. I really like the idea of a square bottle though. Maximize the space usage in the case, keep the neck of course....excellent idea. You should patent that one....

  • Jeff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Ms. Stoyles wants Newfoundlanders to buy brands made right here... what about Keith's/Keith's Light? Aren't they imported from Nova Scotia? Seems a little hypocritical...

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Let's call it like it is... Molson sucks!

    Neither a long neck bottle or even giving it away could get me to drink Molson.

    Great job Jamie

  • Suzanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Graham from NL has something to say about every news story out there...all negative comments based on zero knowledge. Find something to do.

  • Funky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Why can't they just change their equipment here and produce long necks? Honestly, this is a joke. I can't believe this is an issue. Trust me, I drink beer. I absolutely love beer. But I have no patriotic connection or do not glow with pride when I drink out of a short-neck bottle as opposed to a long-neck. Having a long neck is not something that would make me switch brands. Just change your systems here. Or don't. I don't care, keep making short neck bottles. I really don't care. I am flabbergasted sometimes at the unwillingness to change anything in this province. Whoopdidoo...let's start a beer revolution because one company changed the length of the necks on the bottles. If markets change and a company isn't willing to change to meet the demands...let them fail.

  • Tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    It has come to my attention through the whining of some people from Labatt and Hearn Distributing that Molson has imported beer from another market to make up for the short fall of beer that their local plant will not be able to produce for a short period of time. All this was due to a break down at the local Molson plant. The long neck controversy is a non issue. Molson received the proper authorization from our Provincial regulator. An equal amount of beer that has been imported will be exported, and the long neck bottles will be collected by Molson to be sent back out of Province. Maybe if Labatt spent some money on promoting their inferior product or even better yet, made a better product, this would not be an issue to them. Sounds to me like nothing more than sour grapes. Grasping at straws to make us believe that a boycott of Molson is a good thing to prove THEIR point. Sorry Labatt, I drank your poor quality product for years and then discovered a good beer. Your feeble attempt to pit one brand against another will not work.

  • Suzanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Someone forgot to tell you that Keith's is bottled and packaged here. The imported beer has a tarriff on it..get your facts straight.

    The people of this province gain employment from the bottling and packaging of keith's. Molson had this beer sent in with no beenfit to the employees of this province.

    Atleast Labatt stayed with the bottle agreement.

  • AnnD
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Bring back the Stubbie!

  • man
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I prefer the long kneck bottles,I believe Newfoundland is the only province that does not have them. And why is that, a bottle of beer is a bottle of beer.

  • savethekokaneeranger
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I wish they would import Kokanee, that is the best beer there is!!! Brewed straight from the Kootany's...

    P.S: save the Kokanee Ranger!!

  • back at you
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I think you all sound crazy so I am going to lobby my government to keep ALL imported immigrant workers from Newfounland out of this Province .

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I live near Molson's brewery and had been smelling fumes from their plant ----in-complete combustion odor!

    The failure of the boiler may explain the smell as I haven't smelled it now for about two weeks.

    Its difficult having an industrial plant in the residential neighbourhood --- they don't seem to have any obligation to report to their neighbours what is going on there.

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Let's call it like it is... Molson sucks!

    Neither a long neck bottle or even giving it away could get me to drink Molson.

    Great job Jamie

  • gary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I agree Steve...
    I think Jamie needs to look at her sales people before she opens her mouth. Big deal the bottles are long neck. The contents are still da same. Jamie, do you really think that if I was a Blue drinker because there is a box next to it with long neck I would switch. For one it would be a health issue... I could knock out some teeth... HA HA...
    But Jamie, don't be so petty as to have a interview and then write to the editor. Just to complain that your sales are down and you see a disadvantage that you can't control. ( Or you did not think about !!!) I myself am in sales, you don't see me call up the Telegram because my compitation has a Widget that looks beter or is in a neon color box. Get with da program, sales is sales, you know it is not permanent. It was only for a 1-2 week period while they had problems @ Molsons... They are only looking after their customers. The same as Labatts would SURELY do if they had the same problem.

  • back at you
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    You have a really false vision of yourself guy from Alberta . I've worked with Newfounlanders and they certainly believe whatever they say. Doesn't mean it's true though. One thing we do know here is if your working with a Newfoundlander you had better watch your back. Quite grabby kind of like the dog at the dinner bowl. Oh yah and bullsh__ baffles brains. Their great for that! Drink up and stick with what your good at.

  • harry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    i heard an old man say one time that he woukd wring it out of a dirty sock ,,, so who cares what kind of kneck is on the bottle ffs lol

  • Funky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Long-neck...short-neck? It all tastes the same. I'm sure the people that buy the beer (me included) wouldn't care if it came in a square bottle.

  • Topher
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    MOVE outta NL and have alll the good beer you want on the mainland. No complaining but all drinking and LOTS of fun.

    HI JAMIE!!!!

    I'm going to stay where I'm at but come where I'm to.

    WIZZ

  • Nelson
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    We should keep the competition agreement in place. Look what happened to Coke-cola when they were allowed to bring in Nova Scotia product. Almost everybody working for Coke here was laid-off when they closed the plant, sales dropped ( including my loyality), and most important was the that taste changed!!! You CANNOT make the same product if you don't have the same ingredients, which includes the water!! I would think that all Newfoundlanders would agree that there is no better tasting or softer water in Canada then here. With all the jobs being lost with the economy as it is, we have to support our own.

  • Timboy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Neil from NL: I totally agree with you! Why should we be subjected to the same old brands of beer here. I love drinking local micro brewed beer and they have a hard time getting the visibility in the local stores because of the bully tactics of the big two .

  • Beerbelly in NL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I don't see where the problem is. Those who are demanding a boycott.... where do you buy your clothes, your car, are they all made right here or even made in Canada? Foolishness.

    They received the ok from NL Liquor Corp and also notified their counterpart in Labatt so how does this then become a newworthy item.!?

  • Laura
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    First off, I would like to comment on the fact that people are upset about the fact that these long neck bottles were imported from the mainland. Perhaps people don't realize, but Labatt actually trucks in their Alexander Kieths. It isn't made here in the province, it is only bottled here. So lets build a birdge and get over that aspect of it.

    Also, as Brent Morgan mentioned, as is mentioned in the aritcle, there will be no time lost to employees due to the fact that the beer has to be returned to the providers of the long neck bottles. So in reality, wouldn't the brewery have to continue to produce regulary and probably even more now to replace this beer? Maybe not, but I can't see time being lost to their workers...

    Like many of you said, and also what I think, is that this is simply the Labatt's distributor whining because they feel the long neck bottles will be a threat to their products. . I think Molson made a wise choice to import product if it means meeting the demands of its newfoundland consumers and customers.

    All in all, this is a silly topic. Its Molson's temporary fix and soon enough the long neck bottles will be gone off the shelves and we'll be back to our normal bottles and we'll all still be drinking the same brands we always did regardless of what kind of package the drink comes in!!

  • Local
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    A Molson rep, a Labatts rep and a Quidi Vidi rep were attending a luncheon meeting in St. John's. When asked if they would like something to drink with their meal, the Molson rep said he would like a Molson Canadian. The Labatt's rep said he would like a Labatt's Blue. The Quidi Vidi rep said he would like a Coke. When asked why he would order a Coke, the Quidi Vidi rep said, If you two aren't going to order a beer, then I won't either!!!! .

  • Nate
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    1. No work will be lost. They have to produce it all and send it back

    2. It's TEMPORARY!! Long necks will be in the market for 2 weeks and our stubbies will be back, who cares??? It's a quick fix to problem.

    I don't think everyone is reading the entire article. The bottles/beer were brought in for 2 weeks of shipping in aid of a problem which is now taken care of, what's the big deal????????? Really????

  • Diane
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Why not make the switch to long-neck bottles....the beer tastes so much better!!
    Why do we have to be so different from the rest of Canada.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Molsons had a problem that prevented them from brewing beer. Equipment problems happen in any industry and you work around the problem as best you can. Molsons were only looking after their customers by temporarily importing beer while their facility in St. John's was down. Labbats is just trying to stir up s#!* trying to make Molsons look bad for looking after their customers.

    I guess that Labbats would leave their customers out in the cold if they were placed in the same situation. NOT LIKELY.

  • Robert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Pathetic. One brewery has production problems and imports some beer as a temporary replace so they'll at least have a product on the market, and the other whines that they didn't get a chance to become a monopoly. Cry me a river. This was sad enough being run as a letter to the editor, but for it to be escalated to a cover story speaks of the apparent lack of anything happening in this city.

  • roberto
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    here is a novel idea! why not drop the provincial barriers so that other canadian beer from any province can be found here.
    better still have any imported beer a person wants be able to be found here.

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Thanks to the Hibernia GBS, I had many opportunities to visit Newfoundland during my drinking days. My favourite beer was Black Horse (don't remember who brewed it). Besides, who cares about longnecks or shortnecks, that Jaime Stoyles is HOT!!!

    (I find it interesting that this controversy should generate more comments than the threatened Nurses strike, which has the potential to be life-threatening in its impact.)

  • Dennis
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Is this still available? When I lived in NB, I liked drinking Canadian. I hate it here. When I was back there in October, I tasted it, and it was great. There's definitely a difference.

  • brewer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    NL has the poorest selection of beer in the country. Very small and limited selection of foreign imports and even smaller selection of Canadian micro brews. Beer never goes on sale and no discount brands. A discount brand would capture a big market share quuickly. In short the NLC need to get with the times.

  • greg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Over the past five years, the Williams Administration allowed Molson and Labatt to bring mainland beer into this province time and time again, even though the same brands are made in our St. John's breweries. Mr. Hearn forgot to tell you Keiths is not brewed in this province either.The NLC is helping Labatt and Molson destroy the brewing industry in this Province. Without proper monitoring and enforcement these companies would have you pouring beer on your bran flakes. Time for the NLC to get tough with these mainland bullies and protect our brewing industry jobs. Cheers!

  • Robert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    'Devins said the imported products were 'strictly for St. John's and surrounding area,' and should soon be all sold.'

    I don't think it was limited to the St. John's region. At a bar in Corner Brook this past Friday, I was sold a long neck bottle. I am 100% sure because I chipped my teeth on it.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    There should be a representative for beer brewed in Newfoundland and Labrador here in Ontario, like the Screech. We get the products from New Bruinswick and Nova Scotia, why not Newfoundland and Labrador?

    If Molson can ship the beer into Newfoundland and Labrador, it can surely export it from the province. The beer brewed in the province has its own unique class, and it,s too bad the beer outlets of Newfoundland are so far away as we would stock up on the weekends and during Hockey Night In Canada, Grey Cup events and The World Series.

    The Sportsmen's Fishing program filmed in the province by Dwight Blackwood and his crew gives the QV beer its own unique flavour. I have to bring back a few cases when I visit again.

    Molson Canadian is my favourite, and if they don,t treat Newfoundlanders better , we should not heaitate to make it known. They owe this service to their life long customers, and the original Molson family owners would not treat their customers like this. One never gets the same service when traditional brewers sell out to others.

    I,ll tip my hat to the QV beer, brewed in Newfoundland and Labrador like the fishing crew on The Sportsmen Fishing And Hunting Program . When I visit again, I,ll have a QV please.

    Frank Blackwood
    Newfoundland writer,

    **Formerly of Wesleyville, B. Bay

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    I just read the letter to the editor titled... Molson beer bottles hurt local industry - Jaime Stoyles.

    There was not one fluid ounce of merit in his argument. Jaime Stoyles was all over the place and grasping at straws, much like that of an animal in it's death throes. Poor form Mr. Stoyles. Poor form.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    I can't figure out how Molson gets the skunk to squat over the bottle!

  • guy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Hey Back at you ALBERTA listen if not for Newfoundlanders Alberta wouldn't be what it is today Newfies built alberta we are there to do the red necks work ,and if people ask me what I'm doing in Alberta I always say we are finished our work in newfoundland we are here to do yours now god bless the ROCK.and as for beers we have the best tasting beer anywhere in North America and as for alexander keiths beer is crap what do ya expect it came from Nova Scotia lol.

  • Michael
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    This is news??????? You folks are adding to the NL stereotype.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    These companies are wasting their time and money thinking about this, talking to lawyers, having different beer bottles for Newfoundland? This is the lead story on the Telegram's website this morning? Wacky. I can't express in words how little I care about this. :)

  • charlie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    You are missing the point!!!

    This is beer made at another Molson brewery
    outside of Newfoundland.
    This is how it starts..... Then eventually they close down the plant here and import all the beer.

    Molson need to know their attempts to flood the market with non Newfoundland made suds
    will not be tolerated!
    I say boycott Molsons for a few weeks and let them know any attempt to bring in beer from another province will not be tolerated.

  • Adam
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Folks,

    Most of the comments I have read in response to this article have made me sick. Some of the comments made were valid, but followed up with childish lines insulting each other's choice of product. This erases the merit of any point you may have been trying to get across.
    Other comments were made by individuals who have not done their homework and who are unaware of the facts at hand.

    The closed market bottle agreement, the tariffs on imports, and the agreement that balances the export/import volume of beer are in place, in large part, to protect the employees of both companies.

    Molson has stated that an equivalent volume of product will be brewed here to be distributed to the Atlantic Canadian market. I can assure you that the beer will leave here in tanker trucks- to be bottled in mainland plants. The bottling labour hours lost by importing the market-ready long-necks will not be recovered.

    As for the Keith's issue, Keith's is imported by tanker and bottled here. An equivalent volume of Newfoundland-brewed beer is then exported by tanker to the mainland. This balances the lost labour hours due to Keith's being brewed at Oland Breweries in Halifax.

    This is not a sales issue- the market share gained by Molson, even if traditionally Labatt drinkers bought all the long-necks imported, would not be significant- it would be a mere drop in the bucket compared to the annual sales of either company.

    If Molson and Labatt find it more economical to import beer that is brewed and bottled on the mainland and we do nothing to stop them from ignoring the agreements in place to prevent this, then we may find that both breweries will become distribution warehouses to distribute beer brewed and bottled elsewhere.

    When we allow companies to ignore agreements that protect the employment of our fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians then we find ourselves at the mercy of global corporations who care little about us, who only read the bottom line.

    Another case of our stubbornness in a short-term issue leading to detrimental long-term consequences.

  • Ferg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Robert from Cornerbrook you are absolutely correct. Naturally the largest region being St. John's was the initial focus but we were prepared to ensure that every beer drinker in Newfoundland Labrador would not have an interuption in receiving their Molson brands. Thus we were prepared to cover the province. As stated, this was a short term fix only. Our boiler was back up and running Feb 2 and producing and pacakging in St. John's. Thanks to our loyal beer drinkers in Newfoundland and Labardor for your understanding. Cheers.

  • Cyrus
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Obviously a few of you haven't done your research before commenting. Some of this is laughable.

    First and foremost, Keiths products are tankered in to the province, brought to the warehouse and bottled. If it was trucked here bottled, don't you think they as well would be in long necked bottles as Nova Scotia uses? Yes, they would be. You needn't think that Labatt sends trucks full of empty short necked bottles to Nova Scotia. As the only canadian province that uses the short necks, they are therefore bottled here. This doesn't take away any employment here, as only the brewing is done on the mainland.

    Secondly, years ago both companies were summoned to pay a $10 million fee to convert to the long necks, Labatt obliged, Molson didn't. Now they have an agreement in place that they will not use the long necks. This agreement was breached when Mr. Winters allowed Molson to bring in the long necked bottles to help with their little misfortune at the plant. I am curious as to what brand of beer Mr. Winters drinks........moving on

    Lastly, when the order was placed, they received more than was required. Now as a marketing scheme, they have placed this product on shelves. Even though their plant was back up and fully functional, they have failed to pull the long necked bottles from retail stores and replace them with the short necked ones.

    As is with most businesses across Newfoundland and Canada for that matter, it all boils down to the almighty $$ and who knows who. I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine.

    That all being said, it was very unneccessary of Mrs. Stoyles to state what she did, very unprofessional.

  • steve
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Sounds to me like Labatts is not doing so well in the market. Maybe they should sell more beer and less whine....

  • Brent
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    To charlie mcfee: It clearly states in the article that the amoung of beer being shipped in is going to be shipped out again to be provided to the atlantic provinces. This insures that no work hours are lost. There is no way that the plant in St. John's is going to close anytime soon with the amount of beer it produces.

  • Aaron
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    I haven't drank Labatt's since they dropped the 's.

    I can't ask for a ....Labatt.

  • Nelson
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    To George from Fort Mac, thanks but that was 42 years ago. Any newer dates?

  • JK
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    This is all Harper's fault.

  • ron
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    This may seem like no big deal to some but think outside the box for a moment,there can be a ripple effect if this goes unchallenged.First once the door is open for the exportation of a product people in this province who depend on made right here will begin losing there jobs,everyone from manufacturers,distributors,sales,advertising,accounting and all the people who benefit from the sponsorship they provide.The first job(s) lost because of it or when beer prices double because their made not right here ... then it will be a day late and a dollar short.

  • steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    pssst...Graham...Jamie is a GIRL

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Nelson from NL writes: I would think that all Newfoundlanders would agree that there is no better tasting or softer water in Canada then here.
    -------------------------
    The best water I have ever tasted was when I lived in Labrador City in 1967, and I have tasted water in every province.

  • Neil
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Out with the competition agreements, lets have a beer price and offer war....Molson and Labatts should be fighting each other for my beer buck. And believe me, it would be worth it. I really like the idea of a square bottle though. Maximize the space usage in the case, keep the neck of course....excellent idea. You should patent that one....

  • Jeff
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Ms. Stoyles wants Newfoundlanders to buy brands made right here... what about Keith's/Keith's Light? Aren't they imported from Nova Scotia? Seems a little hypocritical...

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Let's call it like it is... Molson sucks!

    Neither a long neck bottle or even giving it away could get me to drink Molson.

    Great job Jamie

  • Suzanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Graham from NL has something to say about every news story out there...all negative comments based on zero knowledge. Find something to do.

  • Funky
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Why can't they just change their equipment here and produce long necks? Honestly, this is a joke. I can't believe this is an issue. Trust me, I drink beer. I absolutely love beer. But I have no patriotic connection or do not glow with pride when I drink out of a short-neck bottle as opposed to a long-neck. Having a long neck is not something that would make me switch brands. Just change your systems here. Or don't. I don't care, keep making short neck bottles. I really don't care. I am flabbergasted sometimes at the unwillingness to change anything in this province. Whoopdidoo...let's start a beer revolution because one company changed the length of the necks on the bottles. If markets change and a company isn't willing to change to meet the demands...let them fail.

  • Tom
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    It has come to my attention through the whining of some people from Labatt and Hearn Distributing that Molson has imported beer from another market to make up for the short fall of beer that their local plant will not be able to produce for a short period of time. All this was due to a break down at the local Molson plant. The long neck controversy is a non issue. Molson received the proper authorization from our Provincial regulator. An equal amount of beer that has been imported will be exported, and the long neck bottles will be collected by Molson to be sent back out of Province. Maybe if Labatt spent some money on promoting their inferior product or even better yet, made a better product, this would not be an issue to them. Sounds to me like nothing more than sour grapes. Grasping at straws to make us believe that a boycott of Molson is a good thing to prove THEIR point. Sorry Labatt, I drank your poor quality product for years and then discovered a good beer. Your feeble attempt to pit one brand against another will not work.

  • Suzanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Someone forgot to tell you that Keith's is bottled and packaged here. The imported beer has a tarriff on it..get your facts straight.

    The people of this province gain employment from the bottling and packaging of keith's. Molson had this beer sent in with no beenfit to the employees of this province.

    Atleast Labatt stayed with the bottle agreement.

  • AnnD
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Bring back the Stubbie!

  • man
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I prefer the long kneck bottles,I believe Newfoundland is the only province that does not have them. And why is that, a bottle of beer is a bottle of beer.

  • savethekokaneeranger
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I wish they would import Kokanee, that is the best beer there is!!! Brewed straight from the Kootany's...

    P.S: save the Kokanee Ranger!!

  • back at you
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    I think you all sound crazy so I am going to lobby my government to keep ALL imported immigrant workers from Newfounland out of this Province .

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    I live near Molson's brewery and had been smelling fumes from their plant ----in-complete combustion odor!

    The failure of the boiler may explain the smell as I haven't smelled it now for about two weeks.

    Its difficult having an industrial plant in the residential neighbourhood --- they don't seem to have any obligation to report to their neighbours what is going on there.

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Let's call it like it is... Molson sucks!

    Neither a long neck bottle or even giving it away could get me to drink Molson.

    Great job Jamie

  • gary
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    I agree Steve...
    I think Jamie needs to look at her sales people before she opens her mouth. Big deal the bottles are long neck. The contents are still da same. Jamie, do you really think that if I was a Blue drinker because there is a box next to it with long neck I would switch. For one it would be a health issue... I could knock out some teeth... HA HA...
    But Jamie, don't be so petty as to have a interview and then write to the editor. Just to complain that your sales are down and you see a disadvantage that you can't control. ( Or you did not think about !!!) I myself am in sales, you don't see me call up the Telegram because my compitation has a Widget that looks beter or is in a neon color box. Get with da program, sales is sales, you know it is not permanent. It was only for a 1-2 week period while they had problems @ Molsons... They are only looking after their customers. The same as Labatts would SURELY do if they had the same problem.

  • back at you
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    You have a really false vision of yourself guy from Alberta . I've worked with Newfounlanders and they certainly believe whatever they say. Doesn't mean it's true though. One thing we do know here is if your working with a Newfoundlander you had better watch your back. Quite grabby kind of like the dog at the dinner bowl. Oh yah and bullsh__ baffles brains. Their great for that! Drink up and stick with what your good at.

  • harry
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    i heard an old man say one time that he woukd wring it out of a dirty sock ,,, so who cares what kind of kneck is on the bottle ffs lol

  • Funky
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Long-neck...short-neck? It all tastes the same. I'm sure the people that buy the beer (me included) wouldn't care if it came in a square bottle.

  • Topher
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    MOVE outta NL and have alll the good beer you want on the mainland. No complaining but all drinking and LOTS of fun.

    HI JAMIE!!!!

    I'm going to stay where I'm at but come where I'm to.

    WIZZ

  • Nelson
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    We should keep the competition agreement in place. Look what happened to Coke-cola when they were allowed to bring in Nova Scotia product. Almost everybody working for Coke here was laid-off when they closed the plant, sales dropped ( including my loyality), and most important was the that taste changed!!! You CANNOT make the same product if you don't have the same ingredients, which includes the water!! I would think that all Newfoundlanders would agree that there is no better tasting or softer water in Canada then here. With all the jobs being lost with the economy as it is, we have to support our own.

  • Timboy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Neil from NL: I totally agree with you! Why should we be subjected to the same old brands of beer here. I love drinking local micro brewed beer and they have a hard time getting the visibility in the local stores because of the bully tactics of the big two .

  • Beerbelly in NL
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I don't see where the problem is. Those who are demanding a boycott.... where do you buy your clothes, your car, are they all made right here or even made in Canada? Foolishness.

    They received the ok from NL Liquor Corp and also notified their counterpart in Labatt so how does this then become a newworthy item.!?