One of Creston’s most famous exports was powered by barley, blarney, a Sasquatch and one of the smartest marketing campaigns in Canadian history.
Creston is the home of Columbia Breweries, whose corporate forefathers have been making beer since 1898 when the original Fort Steele Brewery was established.
Kokanee beer — a product named after a landlocked sockeye — started life as a niche beer, but through clever marketing campaigns featuring a Sasquatch, a befuddled ranger and other spoof-like scenarios, became an immensely popular western Canadian beverage.
While the name Columbia Brewery is synonymous with Kokanee beer, it also produces other brands, including Alexander Keith’s, Brava, Budweiser, Busch, Kootenay Ale, Labatt, Lucky Lager, Wildcat and Winchester.
Columbia Brewery today is part of Labatt Breweries of Canada, which is owned by the global Anheuser-Busch InBev corporation, which produces the equivalent of 350 million bottles annually for Canadian customers.
— With files from the Creston Valley Advance
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