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Watertown brewery starts exporting 1812 beer into Canada

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More than two centuries ago, the War of 1812 began with tensions between the United States and Canada over differences about territorial expansion.

And now, the 1812 Brewing Company is embarking on a friendly expansion, with the Watertown beer producer selling its award-winning 1812 Amber Ale in Canada.

About 450 cases of 1812 Amber Ale are available in about 50 retail outlets of the national retailer The Beer Store in and around the St. Lawrence River, Kingston and Toronto.

Chairman and CEO Thomas W. Scozzafava is celebrating the milestone for the company.

“It’s exciting to say we’re an exporter,” he said. “I’m proud of the recognition.”

He expects that the connection to the War of 1812 will make it a popular item in Canada, too.

More than 200 years later, Canadians still like to celebrate raids by the U.S. Navy, he said.

“It’s the novelty of it all,” he said, “And the piqued interest of Canadians’ pride in that point of history.”

Scozzafava also points out the company’s connection to Sackets Harbor, the site of an 1812 battle and where the ale was first made in his West Main Street restaurant until the brewery’s operations moved to Watertown a few years ago.

But Scozzafava thinks that “it’s just the start” of getting into Canada’s biggest beer market.

Calling it one of its premiere products, 1812 Amber Ale has won a series of Gold awards, including last year by a panel of world judges, a top honor in the U.S.

“We’re convinced people will enjoy it, repurchase it and tell their friends about it,” he said.

David J. Zembiec, CEO of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corp., said it will open up the beer market for the company.

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