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 $155 million brewery—the 10th largest worldwide—that she helped build from scratch. Her unprecedented success demolished stereotypes, surprised her competitors, and cleared a path for entrepreneurs of every age and gender.
“Manjit Minhas is the biggest beer baron you’ve never heard of—yet.”— Canadian Business
Dragon’s Den judge Manjit Minhas has been able to do what few ever thought possible—break into the notoriously competitive and notoriously male-dominated beer and spirits industry and grow her company to the 10th largest brewery in the world. She’s been profiled in Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail and on The National and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, a distinction honoring outstanding Canadian leaders. She is a highly sought-after speaker and has given talks at the Rotman School of Management and the Haskayne School of Business, among others.
Minhas started Mountain Crest Liquors Inc. (MCLI) 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. MCLI is now making waves internationally, producing, developing, and marketing over 90 brands, and having served over 6 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. 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.
“I had the privilege of having a personal conversation with Manjit in front of 100 or so eager listeners at the President’s League Retreat on June 4, 2016. She is the ultimate example of what it means to be an entrepreneur. When you listen deeply to Manjit, you understand her incredible tenacity. She has overcome one obstacle after another. There were many times when her business looked like it might fail. She talks about being totally discounted and overlooked in a man’s world. It was tough enough to be a young woman, barely above the legal drinking age in Canada, let alone being a visible minority. She admits to having many nights of tears of frustration, but they also fueled her relentless determination. In addition, she was an absolute pleasure to work with before and during the President’s League event.”ATB Financial
“We were very impressed with Manjit’s speech. She was inspiring, engaging, and authentic. She connected with our audience and was very open to interacting after the keynote with attendees.”Accenture
The Minhas School of Beer Business Success
Empowering Women Achieving Business Success in Male-Dominated Industries
As the co-founder of a now-$155 million brewery, Manjit Minhas is living proof that women can—and should—achieve success in even the most male-dominated industries. With her family-owned Minhas Breweries and Distillery, she’s combined savvy financial sense with a keen understanding of what women want out of suds (yes, women drink beer—lots of it). It’s taken passion, patience, and thick skin, but today she’s part of a changing (and exciting) landscape: dragging a well-known boys club into the 21st century and redefining success from the ground up.
In this empowering talk, Minhas offers advice for women in business—new entrepreneurs, longtime leaders, and aspiring executives alike—looking to do great things, get ahead, and transform their industries. With equal power, she also speaks to groups seeking to diversify and modernize their workforces: incorporating more women as leaders, more people of colour, and demolishing outdated stereotypes. Minhas is the motivational speaker sure to inspire an entire generation of female innovators—as entrepreneur, past engineering student, CBC television star, mom, and much more.