Public Space, Brought To You By Budweiser

A Montreal business group sold sponsorship rights to Budweiser for an outdoor event on a closed street, but restauranteurs setting up outside think the deal goes too far as they are forced to sell the watery beer to their patrons.

"Stéphanie Dagenais didn't mind the Bud Light parasols and cups she was forced to use on her restaurant patio in Montreal's Gay Village.

It's when the brewery started telling her Bud Light had to go in those plastic cups that the manager of Kilo bristled.

"I think it's an aggressive way of doing a sponsorship," said Ms. Dagenais, who was forced to sell the beer under an exclusive deal struck between Labatt, which brews the beer in Canada, and the Gay Village business improvement group.

The business association sold the right to sell beer on 54 new patios along a stretch of Ste-Catherine Street to Labatt, part of a summer-long festival that will see cars banished from the street. Owners say the $100,000 deal came with minimum sales quotas for each bar and restaurant, including a healthy sample of Bud Light.
Patrons at a bar on Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal drink Molson Export out of the Bud Light cups required through Labatt's sponsorship of the area.

The deal irks restaurateurs like Ms. Dagenais, who doesn't sell much beer at her small restaurant, best known for tasty desserts, and others who try to tempt palates with fine dining, wine and specialty ales."

Full Story: Montreal's tempest in a beer cup

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