BockAle: making its place as a microbrewer

BockAle: making your place as a microbrewer

MISE À DAY

How does a corporate marriage feel? I was very curious to know the evolution of the microbrewery Le BockAle, almost a year after its merger with Duvernois Esprits Créatifs, the entrepreneur behind the success Romeo's Gin. 

The two are complementary, it's a strategic advantage, but also differences to be combined.

“Obviously, it represents challenges! says Michaël Jean, CEO of BockAle and new v.-p. produced by Duvernois. We mix the DNA of Drummondville with that of Montreal, two DNA of business leaders accustomed to leading, and the DNA of marketing (Duvernois) with that of production (BockAle). »

Add to that the need to support growth in an inflationary context; raw materials are more expensive and stocks must be built up to be able to supply a larger market and protect against shortages of certain ingredients. In addition, it lacks arms and brains, as in most companies. 

Financial security

Le BockAle, Quebec leader in non-alcoholic beers, wants to increase its sales in the rest of Canada, helped by the network of Nicolas Duvernois. And, in 2023, we are targeting the American market. 

“I wanted shareholders who support me and offer me added value. Duvernois has three main managers and I feel less alone,” says Michaël Jean, whose company, founded seven years ago, also becomes the production wing of Duvernois.

This year, Michaël remains the majority shareholder of his company, but in February 2023, Duvernois will have taken control. The negotiation took place after the entrepreneur appeared on the show Dans l’œil du dragon, in the winter of 2021. 

However, Michaël went to the show with no intention of entering into a partnership. It was his father-in-law, then a co-shareholder of BockAle, who had signed him up without his knowledge, and he thought it was an opportunity to promote the company. 

To the end, it was an opportunity to release stress. Michaël broke his teeth in a second antiseptic gel company launched at the start of the pandemic, enough to want to better cover his back.

“I come from a modest background and financial security is an issue for me. I accepted the offer for this reason, but also because I saw the development potential”, says the microbrewer.

Invest in other markets

In the saturated market of microbreweries in Quebec, you have to be a big player to aspire to occupy the shelves of grocery stores in the province, as well as to cross borders. 

Quality alcohol-free is a differentiator, but there again… 6 years ago, Le BockAle was going it alone and today, there are 150 competing products in the niche! The partnership with Duvernois will give strength to invest in other markets.

And then, there are other considerations that led Michaël to say yes… He had trouble putting everything into his schedule: get in shape, have plans, read, meditate, spend time with his family with his two children, live experiences.

“I want to create memories. I want to have too much to tell on the last day of my life!” 

The BockAle will certainly be one of them, but there will be room to create others. The life of an entrepreneur is never a long calm river.

Le BockAle

Foundation year : 2015< /p>

Founder: Michaël Jean

Location of head office < strong>: Drummondville

Sector of activity: Microbrewery

Number employees: 20

PROFILE OF MICHAËL JEAN

Position:< /strong> CEO Le BockAle and v.-p. at Duvernois Esprits

Education: DEC Mechanical Engineering

Age: < strong>40 years

BockAle: making his place as a microbrewer