The Labatt brewery of London, Ontario, just 200 kilometres from the Canada-United States border, was the first Canadian brewery to attempt a strategic expansion into the United States. The paper examines the reasons why John Labatt decided to expand into the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. It analyzes both the "push" and "pull" factors that caused him to attempt to sell his ales, porters, and stouts in Chicago. The paper argues that while entrepreneurial factors played a central role in Labatt's geographic expansion into the United States, structural factors were more important as a factor in the ultimate inability of Labatt to capture a share of the Chicago market.

, , , ,
Canadian Historical Review
Department of History

Bellamy, M. (2014). John Labatt Blows in and out of the windy city: A case study in entrepreneurship and business failure, 1889-1896. Canadian Historical Review, 95(1), 30–53. doi:10.3138/chr.1637