Volume 96, Issue 7
Tuesday, September 10, 2002

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Labatt taps out: No longer served in USC bars

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Say goodbye to your favourite Labatt products on tap at The Spoke and The Wave.

Back in May and June of this year, a decision was made by management of The Wave and The Spoke to pull Labatt products off the taps at the two establishments. In turn, this leaves Molson as the most tapped beer company at both bars.

Labatt products are still available at both bars in other bottles, however, patrons will no longer be able to get a pint of their favourite Labatt brew.

According to Dan Smith, manager of bars and restaurants for the University Students' Council, there are a number of beers available on tap, with Molson being the most prominent.

Smith said the decision was made early this summer, due to issues regarding the quality of service between Labatt Brewing Company and the two bars.

"[Labatt's] service last year was not consistent," Smith said, "[while] Molson went out of the way to rebuild the relationship."

Smith said breweries provide services to the bars by offering promotional giveaways during such big ticket events as Superbowl parties and Wednesday night's with Rick McGhie.

Volume eventually dictates the amount of support given to a brewery, he said.

Labatt's service manager, Richard Culley, said the company is servicing the campus bars to the best of their ability.

"Considering Labatt's long standing history at Western, it's too bad we can't get our beer served [on tap] at the two bars," Culley added.

Michelle Robichaud, manager of public relations with Molson Breweries, said the brewery will continue with its strong brand portfolio.

"We provide a fully comprehensive brand support and [offer] a strong commitment to our customer," she said.

According to Smith, the Labatt company did everything in its power to protect its business, but it did not affect Smith's decision.

The decision was made in the best interest of Western students, he said. "I'm not going to reward them [by selling] their product," Smith added.

This does not seem to have had an adverse affect with students on campus.

"They can do what they want," said Marco Falcon, a fourth-year administrative and commercial studies and sociology student, adding, "Beer is beer."


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