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Moosehead gets N.B. loan for brewery renos

Improvements meant to cut energy and water consumption, boost efficiency and expand capacity at Saint John’s Moosehead Breweries will get some provincial backing.

The New Brunswick government on Monday pledged a $3.5 million forgivable loan to Moosehead toward the brewery’s $35 million capital investment program.

The capital outlays are aimed at improving manufacturing efficiency, reducing energy and water consumption, expanding capacity and updating Moosehead’s quality-control equipment, the province said.

“Our company has been a fixture in Saint John since 1919, and for many generations, my family has consistently re-invested in our Saint John brewery,” company president Andrew Oland said in the province’s release.

“Our family’s company competes against large, multinational brewers 50 to 100 times Moosehead’s size. This financial support from the provincial government encourages Moosehead to continue investing in our brewery to help reduce costs while improving quality and providing product innovation for consumers.”

“This project means that the company will have greater ability to ramp up production to maintain its place as a global competitor,” provincial Energy Minister Jack Keir said in the same release.

Also, he said, it means Moosehead “will continue to be a major player in this region’s economy as it works to hire local labourers (and) local contractors, and purchase equipment and supplies from local companies.”

The company, which originated at Dartmouth, N.S. in 1867, now bills itself as the only Canadian-owned major brewery and both the oldest and largest independent brewery in Canada, selling its product across Canada and the U.S. and in 15 other countries.

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