Beer-loving members of the Estonian diasporas in Toronto and Ottawa will soon be able to dump their bottles of Moosehead in favor of A. Le Coq Premium, thanks to an export deal worked out between the Tartu-based brewery and the publicly-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).
In an April 11 statement, A. Le Coq said its product should arrive on store shelves in the province's major cities this week.
The brewery's director Tarmo Noop said that entering the Canadian market was a long and difficult process. “In Canada the government puts very strict controls on alcohol sales and in connection with that, very tough regulations are in effect for both importers and imported goods,” he said.
As an example, Noop said that only one brand of Estonian beer could be sold on the market at one time. The company also had to redesign its packaging to meet local regulations.
The beer will be available in 76 shops initially, though A. Le Coq said that the number would rise, encompassing more of the LCBO's 620-plus sales points.