Company History

BDL Chronology

The evolution of joint distribution in Western Canada differs by province, with the four distribution companies made up of Pacific Brewers Distributor, Alberta Brewers Agents, Saskatchewan Brewers Association and Associated Beer Distributors consolidated into one company under Brewers’ Distributor Ltd. in August, 1995

British Columbia

BDL in British Columbia, formerly known as Pacific Brewers Distributor (PBD), was incorporated on December 29, 1970. The shareholders included Carling, Labatt, Molson, O’Keefe and Uncle Ben’s. At the time PBD was formed, agents performed all industry distribution. Both Labatt and Molson operated their own distribution centers in select areas of the province.

1971 Kootenays – Labatt purchased Columbia Brewery and began distributing the Labatt portfolio of brands through the Columbia Distribution network. They were formerly distributed in that area by PBD Agent, Skyway.
1978 Nanaimo agent, Central Island, bought out when the agent became insolvent. Greater Vancouver & Fraser Valley agent, Argus Delivery, bought out.
1979 Kelowna & Okanagan Valley agent, OK Valley distributor, bought out.
1981 Victoria agent, Jasper Trucking bought out. Labatt closed the Victoria brewery but left the Labatt distribution center in Victoria.
1983 Courtenay agent, E.L. Roberts, bought out. Attempted buy-out of Huston Agencies (Williams Lake).
1985 Greater Kamloops area agent, Shuswap Distributors, bought out.
1993 Labatt executed project “Riverside” which resulted in closing the Labatt New Westminster external warehouse and consolidating into PBD, packaged product delivery in the lower mainland and Victoria markets. Due to competitive concerns, Labatt decided to retain draught delivery. Labatt also retained the Shuttle service. Labatt employees were severed through a variety of voluntary packages.
1995 The final consolidation into BDL occurred on August 13 through the aid of a successor strategy that resulted in Labatt and Molson employees following their work. This resulted in the closure of a Molson warehouse and the following business was consolidated into BDL:
Molson package & draught volume in the lower mainland, Labatt draught in Victoria and the lower mainland Molson and Labatt Shuttle.The only domestic distribution that is currently not performed by BDL is the Columbia Distribution in the Kootenays
1996 Prince Rupert agent closed and consolidated into Terrace, operated by Big River Distributors Limited.
The network of distribution centers in BC was as follows:

BDL Company Operations
New Westminster
BDL Agent Operations
Cranbrook, Skyway Distributors Limited (Molson product only)
Castlegar, Skyway Distributors Limited (M olson product only)
Dawson Creek, Dawson Creek Warehousing Limited.
Powell River, City Transfer (1945) Limited.Prince George, Spruceland Terminals.
Terrace, Big River Distributors Limited.
Williams Lake, Huston Agencies.

Columbia Brewery Operations (Labatt Distribution Only)

1998 Powell River agency closed March 27. Victoria warehouse closed September 25 and converted into a cross dock location, serviced from BDL’s New Westminster distribution center. Whistler delivery area rationalized (November 27) with significant delivery costs realized.
1999 Nanaimo warehouse closed January 15 and converted into a cross dock location, serviced from New Westminster. Kamloops warehouse closed April 15. Kelowna warehouse closed April 15 and converted into a cross dock operation, with New Westminster performing the order make up. Prince George agency (Spruceland Terminals) converted to a BDL distribution center on May 1
2000 Northern Agents were terminated, and the work was moved into our Prince George distribution centre.Labatt closed and consolidated Castlegar & Cranbrook delivery operations into Creston.
2001 Kootenays Molson volume is now being serviced from our Calgary branch with a contracted out cross dock operation in Cranbrook. Labatt continues to handle their own distribution in the Kootenay area. Dawson Creek volume is now being serviced from Edmonton.These two changes represent the important first time inter-provincial delivery of beer.
2002 Commenced distribution of some lines of non-domestic, and new non-shareholder beer


BDL Alberta, formerly known as Alberta Brewer’s Agents (ABA), was formed prior to 1965. At that time, the shareholders were comprised of Carling, Labatt, Molson and O’Keefe.

1991 Medicine Hat Branch closed
1994 Sorting Operation Discontinued
1996 Red Deer Branch closed. Edmonton distribution, handled out of 3 locations, was consolidated into two locations, one handling full goods product and the other empty containers
1999 Edmonton – construction was completed to consolidate the two locations into one operation Lethbridge has been converted to a cross-dock, delivery only operation
2000 Edmonton operation was closed down after a lengthy labour dispute and we currently have third party contractors looking after warehousing and delivery.
2001 Calgary started looking after warehousing and order assembly for B.C.Kootenay Molson volume. Edmonton started looking after the same for Dawson Creek in northern B.C.


BDL Saskatchewan, previously Saskatchewan Brewers Association (SBA), was formed prior to 1982. At that time the shareholders were comprised of Carling O’Keefe, Labatt and Molson.

1994 Sorting operation discontinued
1995 Weyburn branch closed
1996 Moose Jaw branch closed
North Battleford branch closed
Swift Current location closed
Saskatoon warehouse relocated to larger premises
1997 Regina warehouse renovated and expanded by approximately 20,000 sq. feet
2001 Commenced distribution of some lines of non-domestic, and new non-shareholder beer


BDL Manitoba, formerly Associated Beer Distributors (ABD) was formed in 1974. The shareholders included Carling O’Keefe, Labatt, Molson and Kiewel-Pelissier.

1974 ABD was formed through a successor strategy in which brewer distribution workers followed their work to ABD
1993 Brandon location closed
1994 Sorting operation discontinued
2000 Commenced distribution of some lines of non-domestic, and non- shareholder beer