Labatt Breweries Acquires Banded Peak Brewing – What Does This Mean for Calgary’s Barley Belt?
Calgary microbrewery Banded Peak Brewing has recently been sold to Labatt Breweries. As the original trademark rights owner of the Barley Belt, what does this acquisition mean for the future of the Barley Belt?
By Clara Jaide on Feb. 10, 2020
Earlier this month, it was announced that Calgary local craft brewery Banded Peak Brewing is being sold to the Canadian beer-giant, Labatt Breweries of Canada. Labatt is a division of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a multinational brewing company. This is the second acquisition of a Calgary craft brewery in the past year; Sleeman acquired Wild Rose Brewery back in May 2019.
Banded Peak Brewing was founded by Alex Horner, Matthew Berard and Colin McLean. The microbrewery opened its doors in Calgary’s Barley Belt in 2016. The microbrewery quickly became much-loved by the city producing approximately 3,000 hectolitres of beer per year.
“I never dreamed this would have been possible,” said Horner told the Calgary Herald. “We obviously had lots of ambition for the brewery, we wanted to grow it and build our business, but this level of growth we never anticipated and we never saw a partnership like this as something that was possible.”
What does this mean for the Barley Belt in Calgary?
Banded Peak Brewing is a prominent founding member of the community of breweries located in Calgary called “The Barley Belt.” The acquisition by Labatt Breweries has many craft beer drinkers wondering what this change will mean for the Barley Belt.
What is the Barley Belt?
The Barley Belt is a craft brewery district located in Southeast Calgary. The Barley Belt was first made up of 5 craft breweries, Banded Peak Brewing, Annex Ale Project, Cold Garden Beverage Company, High Line Brewing and Village Brewery.
The Barley Belt has since expanded now including 6 more breweries: Born Colorado Brewing, Cabin Brewing Co., The Establishment Brewing Co., Legend 7 Brewing, O.T. Brewing Co., Paddy’s Barbecue & Brewery, along with 3 distilleries and a cidery.
Labatt Breweries Acquires the “Barley Belt” Trademark
Back in 2018, Banded Peak secured the trademark rights to the Barley Belt name for the community of brewers. Now that Banded Peak is being acquired by Labatt, that trademark will now be transferred to the new owner.
“Banded Peak applied for the trademark Barley Belt in 2018 as a means of protecting the trademark exclusively for group members,” said Rob Legate, head of craft brewing for Labatt. “However, with the purchase, Labatt assumed the trademark temporarily.”
The line between ‘big beer’, as it’s referred, and craft brewers is being blurred.
This comes as a disappointment to many, as the Barley Belt trademark was specific to this community of craft breweries. According to LiveWire Calgary, it seems that efforts are being made to have the Barley Belt trademark transferred from Labatt to an association that will be founded by the breweries that make up the Barley Belt.
Read more on what Colin McLean, a co-founder of Banded Peak, had to say about the future of the trademark on LiveWire Calgary.
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