After years of work and failing to get in twice, you can pick-up a Bancroft Brewing Co. beer from your local LCBO.
“It’s a long process, that’s for sure,” Brewmaster Logan Krupa tells My Bancroft Now. Since late 2019, you can head to the back of the LCBO to their giant beer fridge and you’ll find the “Rusty Husky” sitting on the shelves in between the many other beers stocked by the store. So far, you can find it in 26 stores across Ontario, including the LCBO in Bancroft, Maynooth, and Coe Hill.
Krupa explains it’s not as simple as bringing a box of beers to the local store and dropping them off. Over the course of the past three years, he’s been rejected twice by the retailer. The 12-step process spans nearly a year and involves lots of formalities and back-and-forth between LCBO higher-ups and the people hoping to get their beer on the shelves of stores across the province. At first glance, you might think the Rusty Husky on the shelf at the LCBO is the exact same as the one you’ll find in the fridge at Bancroft Brewing Co.’s main base on Hastings Street North, but that’s been changed. Krupa says the LCBO has specific standards that have to be met, like having all wording on one line and specifically noting the Rusty Husky is amber ale on the can. That wasn’t the case with the original packaging, so Krupa says they had to redesign it to meet LCBO’s standards.
He adds that when they went to the LCBO this time, the Rusty Husky was one of the three beers they submitted. The popular Sawmiller Lager and V-Rock were the others. The lager got cut almost immediately but executives, while the V-Rock was cut well before the final decision was made as to whether or not Bancroft Brews would be accepted by the LCBO.
“So far, things have been going great,” Krupa says when asked how sales have been since December when they started selling in LCBO. He says he’s been getting re-orders weekly.
“Now that we’ve gone through the process, we can get the next listings in sooner,” Krupa explains. He says the process of getting into more stores goes both ways. He’s been reaching out to stores to gauge their interest, but “a few” stories have reached out to him as well. “It’s a matter of putting yourself out there,” he says.
It will be a long process to get there, but Krupa hopes to eventually have their beers stocked on LCBO shelves in the GTA.
Before that, he hopes to get Sawmill Lager sold next to Rusty Husky. “We think that would be a nice selling light lager that would do well in the summer,” he says. Krupa also hopes to get the Claim Jumper IPA and the High Fall Stout sold as well.