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Calgary’s Big Rock to build new B.C. brewery

Calgary craft brewer Big Rock Brewery has set its sights over the Rockies, with plans to build and open a second brewery somewhere in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland within a year.

“A brewery in the Lower Mainland will allow us to have fresh, local beer in market, significantly lower transportation costs and ensure full participation in the incredibly vibrant craft beer scene in B.C.,” Big Rock CEO Robert Sartor said in a release Thursday.

Big Rock said it didn’t yet know what the total required cash outlay for a new B.C. brewery will be, but expects it to be “in the range” of $1.5 million to $2 million.

The company said it plans to fund the expansion with its existing unused credit facility and operating cash flows, and has already brought in a B.C. commercial real estate advisor.

The new brewery is expected to produce some of Big Rock’s current products for the B.C. market, but also “to develop new beers that will be specific to, and exclusive in, British Columbia,” said Sartor, who took over as CEO from company founder Ed McNally in 2012.

Big Rock, founded in Calgary in 1985, now markets its products in nine provinces and two territories and also in Korea. The company sold 21.8 million litres of product in 2012, booking profit of $4.13 million on net revenue of $46.06 million. — Network

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