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Kyle Norrington’s first job out of university was to sell beer for Labatt to bars and restaurants in downtown Toronto.
And 19 years later, after serving as the vice-president of global brands for the company, Norrington has returned to his roots as the president of Labatt Breweries of Canada — the first Canadian to hold the position in more than a decade.
The Winnipeg native made his first trip as president to the Edmonton brewery last Monday to host a town hall meeting with the employees after officially taking over the reins in January.
“The role has been amazing. It’s truly a dream come true to come back to Canada and lead a business that is over 170 years old with an amazing, rich history,” Norrington said in an interview with Postmedia. “I still pinch myself every morning.
“It was fantastic to get to spend some time with all the folks at the brewery in Edmonton, to get out into the marketplace as well and see what’s cooking in and around Edmonton. It’s a market I’m quite familiar with,” said Norrington noting he has spent quite a bit of time in Edmonton over the past few years.
Norrington met with the around 300 employees at the south-side brewery, 10119 45 Ave., and said the site is doing a fantastic job under the leadership of Western Canada senior general manager Peter Delamont.
“We’ve, over the years, invested a lot in the Edmonton brewery and it’s most certainly paying dividends for us as a business,” he said.
As for what’s next for brewery leader, Norrington said the country is already showing a lot of excitement for Bud Light Orange — and he even got a sneak peak in Edmonton.
“People throughout Alberta have been asking us online, ‘When are you bringing Bud Light Orange to Canada?’ It’ll be in stores very shortly,” he said.
Starting with Labatt just out of university, Norrington said he really built his career with the company from the ground up — and something that was easy for him to do with the brewery’s atmosphere.
“It’s a testament to what our company’s all about. It’s been a great place to grow and we pride ourselves in putting people first … and helping build and nurture careers and I know I’m a living, breathing example of that,” he said. “From a guy selling beer in downtown Toronto to now leading the company, it’s a humbling experience for me, but one I’m very excited and thankful for.”
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019