Best Friend of the Ontario Beer Consumer Getting Harassed

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - Ravinder and Manjit Minhas are dismayed and upset that authorities may be impeding their efforts to give the battered and abused Ontario beer consumer a break by offering the finest beer in cans at the lowest legal price. Having received all required approvals, Boxer beer has been selling for weeks in Ontario and consumers have been loving it. Since our introduction to the Ontario market, we received a letter objecting to certain artwork and to the name BOXER for our beer. At its simplest, the objection is that the word BOXER is associated with a sport and that Ontario's regulations prohibit selling or advertising a beer in association with a sport.

As to the Boxer TV advertisements, they have been duly approved by the CRTC (Canadian Radio Television & Telecommunications Commission) as well other relevant authorities. None of the ads aired to date in Ontario has any reference to any sport. In fact, our marketing is based on informing the consumer the basic elements of our offer: Great tasting beer made with Western Canadian 2 Row Barley malted in Biggar, Saskatchewan, Lowest Legal Price, our story of success, benefits of cans vs. bottles and the little known fact that the consumer gets more beer in a can than a bottle.

In addition, we are augmenting the above messages by mentioning the attributes and images of a Boxer Dog, Boxer Boxers (as in underwear), the historical Boxer Rebellion, how we chose the name Boxer and "Boxing Day Prices" all year long the Ontario consumer can enjoy on Boxer beer . Designs of these ads are available at www.BoxerLager.com . None of these refer to a sport.

We are dismayed by the objection to the name BOXER, on the basis of an association with a sport. Since 2007, we have sold BOXER Lager beer in the Western provinces, without any such objection to that name. It seems to us almost every beer brand in Canada and the USA (since those US channels are beamed into Ontario homes 24/7) is associated with all types of sports - from hockey to football to Olympics to Ultimate Fighting. Since every aspect of our beer's introduction was pre-approved, we are baffled and perplexed as to why, after our introduction of our BOXER beer, we a very very small player in the Ontario market, with less than one thousandth of one percent market share, received this objection.

It should be pointed out that the "big guys" have a legislated retail monopoly for beer throughout Ontario where they get to brew, package, ship and retail beer (Molson/Labatt/Sleemans own all of The Beer Stores) - all aspects of which are controlled by them. No other province in Canada has such a "sweet" arrangement for the "big guys". In comparison, the little guys like us have to pay an exorbitant fee just to be able to sell our beer in Ontario. Consumers can imagine the type of disadvantage we face - let alone this recent objection in Ontario to the name of the beer. If we have to change the name of our beer, it will mean that we have to change all of our packaging, advertising, listing with The Beer Stores, etc. etc. These are costs that we may not be able to absorb. It will also greatly affect our ongoing entry into the Ontario beer market.

We should point out that we always strive to comply with all the regulations by various authorities for selling beer - both to the letter and in spirit. We have referred the matter to our lawyer, which costs us dearly. Through this Press Release, we are calling on the Ontario Government to give somewhat of a level playing field for the little guy. The economy in Ontario is down and the average consumer is suffering. We help to keep beer prices in check. If we are chased out of the market with bureaucratic moves, the Ontario consumer will be unduly punished.

BACKGROUND: In November 2007, Manjit and Ravinder Minhas introduced the Boxer Lager product into the Western provinces. In November 2009, they introduced it in Ontario. This was a bold expansion move for the sister-brother team, who, in their late 20s, have already shaken up the beer business in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba by capturing a significant market share of the take home beer business. This introduction was welcome news for the Ontario beer consumers who have been hit hard by the deep economic recession.

Boxer Lager with 5% alc./vol. is available in all 440 "The Beer Stores" throughout Ontario. Our strategy is different from other "value" brand brewers in Ontario in that we sell our beer at the "Lowest Legal Price" and only in cans. Boxer Lager is priced at $15.80 for 12 pack of 355 mL cans, including all taxes and refundable deposits.

Sold only in Canada, Boxer Lager is made with Western Canadian 2-row barley malted in Biggar, Saskatchewan. Its recipe was especially created to satisfy the unique maltier-tasting beer that is preferred by most Canadians. It has very quickly become the fastest growing beer brand in Western Canada.

We entered the Alberta liquor business in 1999, when Manjit and Ravinder were just over the legal drinking age of 18 years. The siblings are well known for taking the big brewers head-on and offering premium quality brews at aggressive prices. These young entrepreneurs also appear in the TV ads that advertise Boxer Lager and extol the virtues of beer in cans versus bottles. The commercials are now airing on major networks and specialty channels and will generate 100 million impressions over the next 6 months in the Ontario market. An aggressive print advertising campaign has just been launched, soon to be followed with radio ads.

Our marketing campaign is designed to sway Ontario's beer drinkers to reinvent the Ontario beer industry by becoming more can-centric - thus spurring a major shift from the bottle driven sales volume preferred by the major brewers. The same strategy succeeded in causing many beer drinkers to switch from bottles to cans in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

SOURCE MINHAS CREEK CRAFT BREWING CO.

For further information: For further information: To obtain photos relevant to the story and to see the TV ads, please go to www.BoxerLager.com. For further information or for arranging interviews, please call (403) 875-3535 (cell) or e-mail at Minhas@BoxerLager.com

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MINHAS CREEK CRAFT BREWING CO.

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