Manjit Minhas is 36 years old and was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. This Petroleum Engineering student turned beer baroness is a Dragon on the hit TV show Dragons’ Den on CBC in its 12th season.
Manjit is the co-founder and co-owner of the Minhas Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries. She started her companies at the ripe age of 19 in Alberta, when she launched her beer in Alberta with her business partner and brother, Ravinder Minhas. Together, they gave the big boys a run for their money, thereby becoming the first successful company to enter the Canadian beer industry in many decades. Currently, she has over 90 brands of beers, spirits, liqueurs and wines. Her products are sold in 5 provinces ( Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan , Manitoba and British Columbia), as well as 45 states throughout the USA and 16 other countries .
Over the last few years, wherever Manjit and Ravinder have entered the marketplace, and especially in Canada, they have single headedly caused a huge stir in the marketplace. To date, her companies have sold over 7 billion pints of beer! Many beer drinkers in Canada and USA have welcomed her style of beer as a tasty alternative to the higher priced mediocre beers that dominate the market place.
Manjit takes Social Responsibility very seriously. Manjit Minhas is the 1st brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans. The Management Warning on the cans reads ” MANAGEMENT WARNING: Please do not drink and drive – ever. Expectant mothers should avoid drinking alcoholic products. Enjoy this product responsibly – Respect yourself and others”. She recently put this on all her products because she believes as a responsible brewer and citizen of this country, it is important she does her part to educate Canadians.
Manjit has also created a special 48 can pack of beers for COSTCO which has the least amount of packaging materials compared to any other product in Canada or USA. It uses no plastic hi-cone rings and needs least amount of box material. This product alone will save millions of pounds of packaging materials ending up in the already over-filled landfills. Similarly, Manjit has sold millions of cases of other brands of her beers such as Boxer with minimum packaging materials using sound engineering principles in protecting the environment.
Manjit believes that effective use of science and engineering can do a lot of good in people’s lives. She has used her engineering background in producing beer using least amount of cleaning and water treatment chemicals, gas, electricity and water. Canadian and American consumers suffering from the Celiac disease have also been beneficiary of her innovative method of making best tasting Gluten Free beer from Sorghum and sold at half the price of the competition.
Manjit and her brother purchased the 2nd oldest brewery in the United States in 2006 and renamed it “Minhas Craft Brewery”. Being in their mid 20s, purchase of this Brewery officially made them the Youngest Brewery Owners in The World. Their brewery is now the 9th largest in North America. From this brewery, world quality beers are shipped across the USA, to Canada and overseas to 16 different countries such as Japan, UK, Brazil and Korea.
Manjit and Ravinder opened a new brewery in Calgary in June 2012 – the Minhas Micro Brewery. This facility makes unique and specialty beers such as the Lazy Mutt Alberta Wheat Beer and Boxer.
The Minhas Micro Distillery which distills and bottles premium spirits and liqueurs such as Platinum 10 times distilled Vodka, Blumers Moonshine, Maya Horchata and Chinook Rye Whisky.
In 2016 Manjit’s companies had revenues in excess of $187 million.
Manjit has been nominated and has won several business industry awards. A few of them are listed below:
- Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs in Canada
- “Top Growth Entrepreneur” award, PROFIT magazine in Toronto
- Ranked #6 in the “Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies” by Alberta Venture Magazine
- Alberta Chamber of Commerce Marketing Award
- Young Achiever Award from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce
- Compelling Calgarian Award given by the Calgary Herald
- Alberta Centennial Medallion
- “Up and Coming CEO” from The National Post
- Canada’s Women Executive Network Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs
- Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40
- Business in Calgary’s Leader of Tomorrow
- India Abroad’s “The Power List” Award
- Famous 5 Foundation Leader Award
- Global TV Woman of Vision Award
- Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of The Year Finalist
- Chatelaine Magazine’s Top Entrepreneur Woman of The Year
- The Sikh Centennial Foundation Award
- Canadian Business Icon Award
Manjit and her story has been featured in many publications such as Macleans Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, Alberta Venture Magazine, The National Post, The Globe & Mail, The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, The Winnipeg Free Press, Bar & Beverage Magazine, Anokhi Vibe, etc. She has also been featured on TV in programs such as the CBC National News with Peter Mansbridge, CBC Venture, Money Wise, Careers TV, and many other news programs across the country. Outside of Canada, her story has also received lot of attention such as USA and India.
Manjit serves as a Board of Director for The TransCanada Trail and West Island College and is the 2017 United Way Campaign co-chair raising $60 Million plus for this charity that is close to her heart.
Manjit is born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and they have two young daughters.