The Lakeport Brewing Company is a beer brewer located on Burlington Street East and Wellington Street North in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is the biggest discount brewer in Canada, and uses the motto "Lakeport, Great beer, Fair prices." The company was incorporated on April 27, 2005. Lakeport produces nine proprietary beers, of which the most popular are Lakeport Honey Lager and Lakeport Pilsner. As of 2006, Lakeport has an eleven percent share of the Ontario beer market the only province in which Lakeport beer is sold. They also have other brand names, such as Brava, Wee Willy, and Steeler lager.
The parent company of Lakeport Brewing is Lakeport Brewing Income Fund, now wholly-owned by Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd.
Lakeport was founded in 1992 as a premium beer brewery. It produced its own brands of premium beer, as well as taking contracts to brew beers for other brands such as President's Choice. Lakeport's retail outlet adjacent to the brewery was the first store in Ontario to sell beer on Sundays.
The brewery was in bankruptcy protection in 1999 when AlphaCorp Holdings Ltd bought the brewery and hired Teresa Cascioli to manage the brewery. Lakeport took on contract manufacturing work for other beverage brands and reworked its operations to make the brewery profitable. Cascioli later bought out the other investors to gain complete ownership of the company which she retained until the initial public offering, at which point her ownership fell to twenty percent.
In 2002 Lakeport held one percent of the market share in Ontario when it pioneered a retail strategy of selling twenty four beer for twenty four dollars, the lowest legal price in Ontario. Lakeport used its low prices as the basis for its marketing to much success. The Lakeport Honey Lager brand in particular became popular. Teresa Cascioli feels the success is due to Lakeport's willingness to take ownership of their discount beers. She stated, "We are the only one at $24 plus deposit that actually puts our company name on it. This was a departure from the norm, especially for a brand such as honey lager. Typically specialty beer brands, such as honey lager, released under a company's name, were sold at premium prices. The marketing of Lakeport Light, Pilsener, and Honey Lager was combined to keep costs down.
There were few advertisements for Lakeport that appeared on television at this time. One advertisement that was aired featured both Teresa Cascioli, and a shop steward of the Teamsters Local 938, representing the workers who brew Lakeport, discussing how they hoped to make a good product at a reasonable price for their consumers. This "grassroots marketing approach was quite different from most beer marketing strategies in Ontario, Canada, which primarily focus on creating an image for a particular individual brand. The homepage on the Lakeport Brewing website declares Lakeport is "Proudly Union-Made in Ontario".
Lakeport's share of the Ontario beer market rose from less than two percent in 2003 to seven percent in 2004 to ten percent in 2005 and eleven percent in 2006. In 2005, Lakeport had one of the top ten selling beers in Ontario. By 2006 two Lakeport beers were among the ten top selling beers in Ontario.