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National Distribution

Dawes Black Horse Brewery had a well-oiled sales team that enabled it to distribute its products in Canada and the United States and even abroad.

National Distribution

In the Montréal, Quebec City and Lévis areas, the brewery used a direct-sale strategy, supplying its products to taverns, restaurants, grocery stores and hotels directly. In the rest of Quebec, product sales were handled by independent representatives. In 1947, the province was divided into 33 territories, each assigned to a representative named by the brewery. These independent agents maintained their own warehouses, trucks and staff – accountants, salesmen and drivers – to serve 1,850 licenced establishments. The brewery held meetings with the salesmen to brief them on the content and form of upcoming advertising for their territories. To support the sales force, it employed a team of five road men who visited licenced establishments and stimulated sales, mostly by installing signs.

Over the years, the transport and distribution methods evolved. The horse-drawn delivery wagons (carrying 110 cases of beer) were replaced by trucks (carrying 250-275 cases). In 1948, the Montréal truck fleet covered 49 routes: 38 for bottled beer and 11 for draft beer. Each crew consisted of a salesman, his assistant and a driver. In late 1945, National Breweries boasted that its ace drivers had logged the equivalent of 520 years behind the wheel without a single accident. It praised their courtesy on the road, their roadside assistance for motorists, towing cars to the nearest garage and even administering first aid to accident victims. The company viewed this as testimony to the value and strength of its brand.

Colour Coding

The National Breweries advertising program included adopting a colour code to differentiate the company’s key breweries and having all of the representatives’ trucks painted accordingly: green for Dawes, red for Dow and blue for Frontenac. For Black Horse, green was used in combination with yellow and black. These colours appeared not only on delivery trucks but on signs, promotional items and some employee uniforms.

Resource References: 

distribution_province_de_quebec.pdf: The Review. Published in the interests of the employees, vol. 11, no. 7, July 1948, The National Breweries Limited, Montréal, P.Q., pp. 15-17. 

distribution_montreal_et_quebec.pdf: The Review. Published in the interests of the employees, vol. 11, no. 6, June 1948, The National Breweries Limited, Montréal, P.Q., pp. 1-4. 

distribution_ontario.pdf: The Review. Published in the interests of the employees, vol. 11, no. 8, August 1948, The National Breweries Limited, Montréal, P.Q., pp. 6-7. 

distribution_provinces_de_louest_et_maritimes.pdf: The Review. Published in the interests of the employees, vol. 11, no. 9, September 1948, The National Breweries Limited, Montréal, P.Q., pp. 8-9.