Sleeman closing Dartmouth, N.S., brewery after failing to find buyer; 15 jobs lost

GUELPH, Ont. – Sleeman Breweries Ltd. has announced the closure of its Dartmouth, N.S., brewery after failing to find an interested buyer.

The Guelph, Ont.,-based company said the brewery would close at the end of business Thursday, putting the operation’s final 15 employees out of work.

“The company made every effort to make the purchase of its Dartmouth facility attractive to potential buyers,” Sleeman said in a release.

“While the company was optimistic it could sell it to another brewery operator, it has exhausted its options and could not come to terms with prospective bidders” despite moving earlier to downsize operations and make other concessions.

Pierre Ferland, the company’s national vice-president, operations, described the Dartmouth operation as “too big for the small operators and too small for the large ones.”

“We want to thank our employees for their years of service to Sleeman Breweries and the patience and dedication they have shown as we tried to find a buyer. We’re disappointed we couldn’t find another owner and keep these jobs in Dartmouth.”

Sleeman, owned by Sapporo Holdings Ltd. of Japan, is the third-largest brewing company in Canada. Besides its core Sleeman brands, it offers regional brands that include Okanagan Spring in British Columbia and Unibroue in Quebec as well as Old Milwaukee and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The company markets or distributes imported products such as Guinness, Sol, Dos Equis and Tecate.