No craft beer: City shuts out local brewers from new Mosaic

By CJME News Staff
July 14, 2017 - 8:29am

Craft beer won’t be featured at the new Mosaic Stadium, despite months of negotiations with producers.

The city confirmed Wednesday no agreement had been reached with the Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association (SCBA) to include local craft beer at the stadium.

In a joint statement with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the city said while it owns the stadium, it granted sponsorship rights – including exclusive pouring rights – to the Riders in 2013 as part of its lease agreement.

The statement said two options were presented last month which would've allowed Saskatchewan-made craft beer to be poured at major events at Mosaic Stadium, including Rider games, but said the SCBA decided not to move forward with either option.

Michael Micovcin, CEO of Saskatchewan-based Great Western Brewing, told Gormley he’d heard the deals were small – just two or three kegs for at least a dozen Saskatchewan brewers.

“How do you divvy up a couple of kegs among roughly a dozen craft brewers?” Micovcin said. 

Great Western wouldn't have been included under either arrangement due to its size. But Micovcin still disapproves of the Riders' move to give Molson Coors 100 per cent of the pour rights.

“It’s a publicly-financed stadium and it’s just disappointing that there was really no effort made to try and satisfy all the objectives – the financial objectives as well as supporting local partners,” he said.

Micovcin also provided insight into how pouring rights deals were reached between the Riders and Molson Coors.

He said the two had a deal going back decades and Molson was given first right to negotiate for beer pouring rights in the new stadium. However, Micovcin explained there was language in the deal allowing a limited quantity of locally produced craft beer. 

It was his understanding the deal expired and another window opened up.

“To the best of my knowledge, no other companies were invited in,” he said. 

“There was no RFP, no bidding wars that were initiated and Molson effectively got the exclusive pouring rights again.”

In their statement, the city and the team said they look forward to working towards an agreement “satisfactory to all parties” in 2018.


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