A formidable speaker, MANJIT MINHAS is an entrepreneur and judge on CBC’s Dragons’ Den who shares business lessons with equal parts force and finesse. Minhas runs a $187 million brewery—the 10th largest worldwide—that she and her brother built from scratch. Her unprecedented success demolished stereotypes, surprised her competitors, and cleared a path for entrepreneurs of every age and gender. Manjit brings her incredible entrepreneurial savvy to every stage.
Minhas started Mountain Crest Liquors Inc. at the age of 19 in Alberta. In late 2002 she entered the beer market with Mountain Crest Classic Lager. It quickly became the first successful beer company to enter Canada in decades. Minhas Breweries, Distilleries and Winery is now making waves internationally: producing, developing, and marketing over 90 brands, and having served over 7 billion pints of beer. She is also the creator of Uptown Girl, a beer that is marketed and made exclusively for women. In 2006, Minhas and Ravinder purchased the second oldest brewery in the United States and renamed it The Minhas Craft Brewery, officially marking them as the Youngest Brewery Owners in The World. Their quality beers are shipped across the USA, Canada and overseas to 16 countries. The siblings opened The Minhas Micro Brewery in Calgary in June 2012, from which they make world-class craft beers and specialty beers such as a gluten free beer.
Minhas is the first brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans. The Management Warnings include such direct statements as: “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.
Minhas is the author of the book Brewing Up a Damn Good Story and has received many awards, including Canada’s Women Executive Network’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs, Profit’s Top Growth Entrepreneur, and Chatelaine’s Top Entrepreneur Woman of The Year. She’s been honoured with The Calgary Herald’s “Compelling Calgarian” Award, been named to Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 list, and her business was ranked number six in Alberta Venture Magazine’s “Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies.” Minhas and Ravinder also own Spotlight Film and TV Productions, which produces TV commercials, documentaries, corporate videos, and half-hour television series. They also own a home building company, Shergill Homes Ltd., that builds single family and custom homes in Fort McMurray and Calgary. Minhas was born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and two young daughters.