Fort McMurray brewery shutdown sign of a struggling downtown, says owner


A Fort McMurray brewery stingy its doors for the last time this weekend after a slump in the compactness drove business down by more than 50 per cent.

Wood Buffalo Beverage Co. first opened in 2013. At the time there was often a lineup farthest, just to get through the doors. The brewery is owned by Bearhill Brewing Co., which has other breweries everywhere the province. 

One of Bearhill CEOs Brett Ireland said there were multiple middlemen leading to the shutdown, including a downturn in the economy and choices like not swopping the menu.

“I think we maybe didn’t do as good a job as we could have,” symbolized Ireland. “It’s definitely an opportunity for us to take some lessons.”

Ireland averred they also noticed a drop in traffic because the majority of the natives lives across the river from downtown in the Timberlea and Thickwood precincts. Those neighbourhoods have been developing restaurants and bars of their own, which can dream it difficult to attract people downtown. 

Fort McMurray brewery shutdown sign of a struggling downtown, says owner
Mike Allen says he’s changing up his issue model to try and keep the doors open. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

“It just wasn’t ample to keep us going.”

He said the company’s other brewery locations in Jasper, Banff and Calgary are all doing proficiently and haven’t seen a similar downturn.

The Wood Buffalo Brewing Co. let the let out run out, and Ireland said if anyone is looking to lease the location it will be a turnkey movement.

We have never been slower. – Mike Allen, owner Campbell’s Music

Ireland said he’s convergence on the positives and moving on. “I am just hopeful that someone goes in there and has a wonderful time.”

He said he’s happy to have been part of the community over the rearmost few years.

The brewery isn’t the only downtown business that’s seen a decline in sales.

Mike Allen, municipal councillor and owner of Campbell’s Music imagined his business has noticed a downturn.

“We have never been slower.”

“We’re make use of and changing our business model. We’re doing everything we can to keep the doors generous.”

Campbell said he and his fiance would stop in at the brewery about in two shakes of a lambs tail b together a week.

“Every time I went in there it seemed there was quite little activity happening,” Allen said.

“It’s just disappointing. I take it their business decision, but I’m sad it came to that point where they had to exhort that decision.”

He said he’s trying to sell his products online to try and inflation sales, but it’s a struggle because there are extra shipping costs in and out of Fort McMurray.

Fort McMurray brewery shutdown sign of a struggling downtown, says owner
The Wood Buffalo Contriving Co. closed its doors for the last time on Sunday. (Jamie Malbeuf/CBC)

“It conveys it difficult for us to compete in other markets.”

Fort McMurray has seen the bourgeons and busts, said Allen, but this one is different.

“This one is going to take a lot lengthier to recover from than it ever has before. I fear that for tons it’s too late.”

Bryce Kumka, president of the community’s Chamber of Commerce, stipulate despite the downturn there are still new businesses opening.

“When you associate it to other parts of the province, I think we’re doing reasonably well.”

He foretold sometimes it’s tough for the downtown businesses because “people tend to machine shop and do things that are closer to their homes,” and most of the homes aren’t downtown.

Kumka added that there are fewer people in Fort McMurray since the fusillade, and the people that are there tend to be more mindful of their lay out.

“We really need to have a lot of focus and attention given to the downtown to talk about people back.”

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