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Home > Labatt Blue - Where Pamela Anderson Got Her Start

Labatt Blue - Where Pamela Anderson Got Her Start


Pamela Anderson - Labatt Blue Zone Girl
If Pamela Anderson hadn’t attended a BC Lions Canadian football game in the summer of 1989, we may never have known her. On that fateful day, a camera man picked the then 21-year-old blond beauty out of the crowd and displayed her image on the stadium screen. The crowd cheered her, officials brought her down to the field where she received a standing ovation. Pamela signed a modeling contract with Labatt, and then appearred in Playboy a few months later.
  

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Labatt Brewing Company History

Labatt Brewing Company Ltd. is a Canadian beer company founded by John Kinder Labatt in 1847 in London, Ontario.

In 1915, Prohibition began in Canada when public bars were banned in Saskatchewan. A year later prohibition was instituted in Ontario as well, affecting all 64 breweries in the province. Although some provinces totally banned alcohol manufacture, some permitted production for export to the United States. Labatt survived by producing full strength beer for export south of the border and by introducing two "temperance ales" with less than two per cent alcohol for sale in Ontario. However, the Canadian beer industry suffered a second blow when Prohibition began in the U.S. in 1919. When Prohibition was repealed in Ontario in 1926, just 15 breweries remained and only Labatt retained its original management.
 

 

   
John and Hugh Labatt, grandsons of founder John K. Labatt, launched Labatt 50 in 1950 to commemorate 50 years of partnership. The first light ale introduced in Canada, Labatt 50 was Canada’s best-selling beer until 1979.

In 1951, Labatt launched its Pilsener Lager; when it was introduced in Manitoba, the beer was nicknamed "Blue" for the colour of its label and the company's support of Winnipeg's Canadian Football League franchise, the Blue Bombers. The nickname stuck and in 1979 Labatt Blue claimed top spot in the Canadian beer market. It lost this status in the late eighties to Molson Canadian, but over the next decade, periodically regained top spot as consumer preferences fluctuated. In 2004, Budweiser took the top spot, pushing Blue to third for the first time in twenty-five years. However, since Labatt has brewed Budweiser in Canada under licence since the 1980s, Labatt likely did not suffer from this shift.

Labatt's innovations include the introduction of the first twist-off cap on a refillable bottle in 1984. In 1989, Labatt's had the opportunity to hire Canadian model Pamela Anderson as a Labatt's Blue Zone Girl after she was picked out of the crowd by a TV camera man at a BC Lions football game wearing a Blue Zone crop-top. Photographer and boyfriend, Dann Ilicic, produced the Blue Zone Girl poster on his own after Labatt's refused to have anything to do with it. Later, Labatt's did buy 1000 posters to deal with consumer demand.

In 1995, Labatt was acquired by the large Belgian multinational brewer InBev, the world market leader.

Labatt is part-owner of Brewers Retail Inc., operator of The Beer Store retail chain, which—protected by legislation—has over 90% market share of Ontario off-premise beer sales.

In 2009, the company sold Labatt USA, including the American rights to its core Labatt products to North American Breweries, and agreed to brew those brands on Labatt USA's behalf until 2012. This sale was mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice for competitive reasons following InBev's merger with Anheuser-Busch, since Budweiser and Labatt Blue were both among the top brands in upstate New York, despite the latter having less than 1% market share in the U.S. overall.

The sale did not include U.S. rights to Labatt products not carrying the "Labatt" label, such as Kokanee or Alexander Keith's, which are now distributed in the U.S. by Anheuser-Busch. Moreover, the underlying intellectual property remains the property of the Canadian firm. Finally, the sale did not affect Labatt's Canadian operations in any way; Anheuser-Busch InBev retains full control of the Labatt brand portfolio within Canada.
 
Labatt Blue
Labatt Blue is the best-selling Canadian beer in the world and the No. 1 Canadian beer sold in the U.S. Introduced in 1951, fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers football team nicknamed the beer "Blue" for the color of its label. The beer earned a 2004 Gold Medal in the World Beer Cup and also won a silver medal in the International Lager category at the 1998 Brewing Industry International Awards. Labatt Blue offers a clean, refreshing taste, light color, slight hop aroma, good balance, fruity character and a slightly sweet taste.

Labatt Blue Light
Labatt Blue Light was introduced in 1983 as a lower alcohol, lower calorie alternative to Canada's most popular beer – Labatt Blue. Blue Light uses specially selected North American aromatic hops and the same strain of lager yeast as the one used to produce Labatt Blue. The result is a crisp, clean and delicately balanced beer, with a slight sweetness and citrus-like hop character.
 
Kokanee
Kokanee has been one of B.C.’s best-selling beers for more than ten years and was awarded a Silver medal at the 1996 Brewing Industry International Awards. Brewed only in the B.C. Kootenays using a blend of Pacific Northwest hops, Kokanee delivers a smooth, clean and lightly hopped taste. Lager, 5.0% alc./vol.

 

 





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