Manjit Minhas is a petroleum engineering student turned beer baroness and one of North America’s most exciting entrepreneurs. The alcohol industry has always been an old boys’ club, dominated by the male-run businesses of old. Manjit has been able to do what few ever thought possible—start from nothing and successfully enter the beer and spirits industry, undoubtedly one of the most competitive markets around, all as a young female entrepreneur. She‘s a highly sought-after speaker and a judge on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Manjit started Mountain Crest Liquors Inc. (MCLI) at the ripe age of 19. In late 2002, she entered the beer market in Alberta with her brother Ravinder and gave the big boys a run for their money with Mountain Crest Classic Lager: they quickly became the first successful beer company to enter Canada in decades. MCLI now produces, develops, and markets 90 brands of spirits and beers. . Manjit is also the creator of Uptown Girl, a beer that is marketed and made exclusively for women. In 2006, she and Ravinder purchased the second oldest brewery in the U.S. and renamed it The Minhas Craft Brewery, officially marking them as the Youngest Brewery Owners in The World. The siblings then opened Minhas Micro Brewery in Calgary in June 2012, from which they make world-class craft and specialty beers.
Manjit is the first brewer in Canada to voluntarily put Management Warnings on beer cans: “Please do not drink and drive—ever,” “Expectant mothers should avoid drinking alcoholic products,” and “Enjoy this product responsibly—Respect yourself and others." Her commitment to ethical business is one of the many reasons why her ventures have been so widely successful.
She’s the author of Brewing Up a Damn Good Story, and her story has been featured in many publications and TV programs. Manjit and Ravinder also own Spotlight Film and TV Productions, a home building company, Shergill Homes Ltd. Manjit was born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and two young daughters.