One of Calgary’s best known craft breweries could become part of the Sleeman empire, if shareholders vote in favour of an offer by the Guelph-based beer maker.Wild Rose Brewery — which has been in operation since 1996 and is one of Alberta’s largest craft breweries — is the target of a takeover bid by Sleeman Breweries, the third-largest brewer in Canada and a subsidiary of the Japanese multi-national beer giant Sapporo Breweries Ltd.Wild Rose is a privately held company and the details of the purchase offer have not been disclosed. However, Wild Rose CEO Bill McKenzie confirmed in an email that a shareholder vote will be held May 9.“Wild Rose has received an offer from Sleeman and we have sent this offer to our shareholders for approval,” McKenzie said. “We plan to issue a press release on Friday, May 10.”Wild Rose Brewery, which was founded by Mike Tymchuk and Alan Yule, began producing draught beer out of a Calgary industrial park in 2006 and in 2005, moved to a converted quonset hut at Currie Barracks. In 2013, the brewery moved to a new $5-million, 40,000-square-foot production facility in Foothills Industrial Park.Wild Rose Brewery currently has 82 employee and according to its website, produced 17,339 hectolitres of beer last year — just under nine per cent of all Canadian craft beer production. McKenzie, who has been CEO since 2012, said the company has seen double digit growth annually for the past seven years.Sapporo Breweries Ltd. bout Sleeman in 2006 for $400 million. Its Canadian brands include Sleeman, Okanagan Spring and Unibroue, while its international portfolio includes labels such as Sapporo, Old Milwaukee and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Wild Rose Brewery patio in Currie Barracks.