Thunder Bay’s love affair with Labatt Crystal continues as company debunks cancellation rumor

After all, Thunder Bay Crystal beer drinkers won’t have to find a new brand. Despite recent rumors to the contrary, Labatt assures that lager is not, in fact, discontinued.

Earlier this week, rumors swirled in online forums suggesting Labatt was killing off the brand, which is a fixture in bars, curling rinks and local garages in the northwestern Ontario town.

CBC News confirmed with Labatt that these rumors were in fact false.

“Due to high demand for Labatt Crystal, we are currently out of stock, but are working quickly to ensure product is restocked and available in Thunder Bay,” a brewery spokesperson told CBC News. .

It will come as a relief for those who drink Crystal beer – described by the Beer Store as being “specially brewed for a light lager taste” – in Thunder Bay, which has a long history with brewing, dating back to Prohibition. and a famous advertising campaign in the 1980s aimed at city paper mill workers and Bombardier factories.

An acquired taste for a discount beer

« When you’re young it’s an acquired taste, I guess you could say, » Carlo DeAgazio said. « It was just the one I really enjoyed at the time. And since then in my band it was just always front and center. »

« I didn’t really like thinking about the beer I was going to have. It was automatically, ‘I might as well have a case of Crystal.' »

And DeAgazio has certainly heard the rumors of Crystal’s alleged disappearance, saying he’s received several messages from friends about it. And although, if that had been true, DeAgazio said he’d probably just switch to another discount brand like Busch or OV, he was still relieved to hear Labatt’s assurance that Crystal wasn’t going anywhere. .

« I would say that’s very good news for me because I wasn’t really ready for not having a crystal in the future, » he said. « Especially during the Christmas holidays, that sort of thing. I buy cases of Crystal all the time anyway. »

« It would have been a bad day if it was true that he was interrupted, so I’m pretty excited to hear it’s going to be a while longer anyway. »

Despite rumors to the contrary, Labatt says Crystal beer is not discontinued. (Kris Ketonen/CBC)

DeAgazio had one request for Labatt, though: bring back the cans.

“It actually stopped me from buying as much Crystal as I normally would, outside of going out,” he said. « But I like to go out once or twice a week. Whenever I go to a restaurant, if there’s Crystal, that’s always what I get. I very rarely deviate from that. »

« At home, I’d probably do more VO, Busch these days, just because of [the] convenience of cans. »

Crystal is perhaps a historic favorite in Thunder Bay, as the city has since become known for its craft beer scene, which has grown to five different breweries in recent years. This includes the Sleeping Giant Brewery, which has been open for almost a decade.

In an email to CBC News, Don Lammi, manager of the Port Arthur Curling Club, said Crystal beer is still selling, but demand is lower than other brands, including Moosehead, Labatt 50 Ale, Bud Light and Lakeside Kolsch.

“With the ever-increasing product diversity, people are generally changing their beer habits,” Lammi said. « We have 25 different beer products here, plus a few taps, so there’s more to choose from than ever before. »


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