Published Date

Surrey, B.C. (April 1, 2020) – BC-based Central City Brewers + Distillers, which is known for its award-winning beer and spirits including the 2019 Canadian Beer of the Year, will be producing alcohol-based hand sanitizers in support of Canadians especially front-line workers, to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Stepping up to the challenge placed by the Federal and Provincial Governments to mobilize industry in the fight against COVID-19, Central City will be producing large bulk formats of hand sanitizers to support larger commercial and industrial businesses, as well as smaller more convenient sizes to support families, front line workers, and individuals. 

Central City is working closely with the City of Surrey to provide free hand sanitizers for front-line workers, healthcare workers and first responders who are battling the COVID-19 situation. The alcohol-based hand sanitizers will also be available for sale to the public at Central City’s liquor store locations, and they are working with grocery partners to make it more widely available.

Production and packaging will begin later this week and will be produced based on guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We are facing unprecedented times on a global scale and there is a tremendous need for businesses and people to band together and work to combat this COVID-19 pandemic,” says Brendan Yep, Vice President of Sales at Central City Brewers + Distillers. “We’ve been in discussions with officials on how we can best support Canadians, and we are truly honoured to be able to contribute and play our part to help our communities. Producing hand sanitizers will also enable us to help keep our staff employed during these uncertain times.”

Public health officials still remind the public that the best way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is by hand washing with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.

Published Date

TORONTO, March 19, 2020 /CNW/ - As part of the national effort to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Corby Spirit and Wine Limited and its Walkerville Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery in Windsor, Ont. are proud to announce that they will be producing hand sanitizer.

The historic distillery, proud producer of J.P.Wiser's Canadian whisky in operation for more than 160 years on the banks of the Detroit River, typically distills 180,000 litres of alcohol every day, but today will be adding hand sanitizer to its production line.

"Corby is proud to support the efforts of the Canadian and Ontario governments and communities across the country in fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic," says Patrick O'Driscoll, Chief Executive Officer of Corby. "In coordination with local and senior levels of government, we are utilizing our production capacity and Windsor distillery to help provide hand sanitizer to areas where it is in need."

The sanitizer will be donated where needed in Windsor, and to the TTC in Toronto.

Corby and the TTC have a long-standing partnership with the annual Corby Safe Rides that provides free TTC rides on New Year's Eve. The donation of hand sanitizer will be used in TTC garages and at collector booths to help people keep their hands clean.

"The health and safety of our employees – and our communities – is our top priority," says Mr. O'Driscoll. "In times like this, it is important that everyone, especially companies with strong Canadian roots, like ours, prioritize good corporate citizenship and step up in the name of the greater good. I am glad that we were able to form this public/private partnership and repurpose our spirits production facilities to meet a pressing need."

Published Date

On April 15th, the Manitoba Government passed amendments to the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act which allows for the sale of liquor for take-out and delivery from Manitoba restaurants. This legislation is now permanent and will continue to be in effect after the COVID-19 crisis. The MRFA is proud to have played an integral part in having this legislation passed in order to help restaurants increase sales during this difficult time and after. To learn more, click on the button below.


As well, Manitoba has announced a new service, as part of the Manitoban Protection Plan, to help businesses, not-for-profits and charities facing economic challenges due to COVID-19 to connect with support programs. In the coming days, Manitoba-based business 24-7 Intouch will launch a secure call centre to help inform and guide stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic. To request a call, once the system is operational, please visit

During this time, the MRFA is opening up our emailing list to non-members and making our new Blog posts public. We do this with the hope that the more information is shared throughout our industry, the better we can weather this storm together. We are dedicated to providing information and resources as they become available.

Please encourage your colleagues and other food service industry professionals to visit our site and sign up for our emailing list, view our blog, engage with us on social media, and share information with us so that we may in turn share information with everyone in our industry. Our blog is regularly updated and not all posts will be shared via email, so stay tuned to the blog for updates on a variety of info and resources. 

If you have information you believe we should share, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-783-9955.

Published Date

TORONTO, April 17, 2020 /CNW/ - The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has created one of the most difficult times in recent global and Canadian history.


Across the country, people are being asked to self-isolate and remain in their homes in an effort to stem the spread of the highly infectious virus; this includes the shuttering of many businesses and events, which has the added impact of putting people out of work — including some 800,000 hospitality and foodservice workers from across Canada.

To help Canadians get through this period, Corby Spirit and Wine has already undertaken several initiatives that support key groups and protect those who are on the front lines trying to control the spread. Among Corby's efforts:

  • Hiram Walker & Sons produces hand sanitizer — The historic distillery in Windsor, Ont., has been converted to begin producing hand sanitizer, with a commitment to contribute up to 20,000 litres per week to help people keep their hands clean and free of germs. Hiram Walker and Corby have partnered with the Ontario government and the City of Windsor to help get sanitizer where it's needed most. The first batch was delivered two weeks ago to the Village of Lake Aspen Nursing Home in Windsor, and an additional 1000 liters were delivered to St. Joseph's Hospital and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Hiram Walker will also be supplying much needed alcohol to large manufacturers for their production of hand sanitizer.
  • Offering WSET Training to 1,500 bartenders — Corby is partnering with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) to sponsor a free Level 1 Award in Spirits course for 1,500 bartenders across the country to take while their bars are closed down. The course will be offered on four start dates — May 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th; those participating can pick the date that works best for them. Each student accepted onto the course will be expected to attend a final exam when conditions allow. Successful students will receive a certificate and WSET lapel pin badge, both of which are widely recognized across the industry. This program shows the commitment of the WSET to support the hospitality industry during these challenging times. "Our partnership with Corby Spirit and Wine will help inspire and empower hospitality professionals through education and a qualification that will help them in their careers once they are able to return to work" said Dave Rudman, Executive Director at WSET Americas. For more information or to sign up, please visit
  • The Corby Brand Engagement and Advocacy Team (BEAT) will also be available via their own social channels for the duration of the course as additional support.
  • Foreign Affair Winery — The Niagara winery is closed to the public, but it joined with other local wineries to provide 2,000 bottles and screwcaps to assist in the distribution of locally-produced disinfectant.
  • Absolut Vodka supports LGBTQ2S artists — A $20,000 donation has been made to the Glad Day Lit Emergency Fund for LGBTQ2S artists and performers, and $25,000 has been donated to the Brooke Lynn Hytes Initiative to support drag performers who have found themselves out of work because of the outbreak.

J.P. Wiser's launches #CheersAcrossCanada: The J.P. Wiser's Canadian whisky team wishes to reinforce the importance of friendships and connections during this difficult time. Launched in partnership with The GenWell Project, the #CheersAcrossCanada is a virtual "Cheers" to be passed on to those we can't wait to connect with. Master Blender Dr. Don Livermore started the 'Cheers' online asking all of us to continue the #CheersAcrossCanada. Hold it high and join the movement on Instagram tagging @jpwisers 


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