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Farm League Brewing strikes a deal on CBC’s Dragon’s Den

Cambridge brewers secure deal with Manjit Minhas for Birdie Juice Beer worth $200,000
Matt Boismier, Collin McKinnon and Mike Mayo, of Farm League Brewing, with their Birdie Juice Beer.

Some golfers are convinced there’s an elixir that can cure their woes out on the golf course.

While it won’t solve your slice or your hook, a local beer brand created by Farm League Brewing recently scored a hole-in-one deal to bring their beer to even more thirsty golfers.

The creators of Birdie Juice Beer recently celebrated a deal made on CBC’s Dragon’s Den worth $200,000 to expand the brand across Ontario, and hopefully to other provinces.

Farm League Brewing in Cambridge is owned and operated by Collin McKinnon, Matt Boismier and Mike Mayo. They crafted the golf-themed beer from a love of the sport, but also because of a lack of diverse craft beer choices out on the local fairways. 

They launched Birdie Juice to combat boring beer. 

“We love golf and we always thought that there needed to be a better craft beer at golf courses,” McKinnon said. “We love how fun golf can be and we really wanted to have something that was made for golf, but was an actual craft beer representation.”

McKinnon has always been a Dragon’s Den devotee and estimates he’s seen every single episode. Back in high school, he used to watch the show in business class and dreamed of making his pitch in the den. 

After a successful audition process, the Birdie Juice crew filmed their episode earlier this May, but had to keep tight-lipped about the results due to confidentiality.

They had an inkling they’d made the cut once they caught a brief glimpse of themselves in a Dragon’s Den season preview clip earlier this year.

McKinnon said their pitch lasted about 90 minutes in real time but was edited down to just over eight minutes for their episode. They brought family and friends to play the part of a rowdy golf gallery and were the trio’s boisterous cheering section during the pitch to the dragons.

Ultimately, they secured a deal with beer baroness Manjit Minhas worth $200,000 as an investor in the Birdie Juice brand. Together, they’re aiming to expand into western Canada, and with Minhas’ distribution ties in the prairies, Birdie Juice could make its way to golf courses across Canada.

“Naturally we knew working with someone like Manjit would make the most sense because of her background in beer,” McKinnon said. “We were very open to see what would happen, but we kind of had an idea of who would might understand what we were talking about a bit more.”

Since the television filming is just a handshake agreement, there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in the due diligence process to make it a legal contract.

Birdie Juice and Minhas are still ironing out the details but are working towards making things official.

Aside from expanding across Canada, Birdie Juice is also looking to expand their merchandise brand with some golf apparel to wear on-course for the 2024 season. And with the recent surge of indoor golf simulators, they also hope to one day open their own fully branded Birdie Juice golf simulator.

Although it feels like the filming took place years ago, McKinnon is still basking in the afterglow of making a successful pitch under the bright lights of the Dragon’s Den.

“The only thing I can really compare it to is someone who’s an athlete and dreams of making it to a league and at least gets to play one game. It feels as big and a small as it possibly can when you’re there. I’ll remember it forever.”