(July 12, 2016)
The Alberta Small Brewers Association (ASBA) appreciates the Government of Alberta’s ongoing efforts to make brewing a signature industry for the province. Today’s announcement of pending changes to the beer mark up signals an understanding of the unique needs of the small and medium sized businesses that characterize Alberta’s growing brewing industry.
At a time when Alberta is looking for good economic news, the number of breweries in Alberta has doubled from 19 to 40 in only two years, with more than a dozen new breweries in planning.
This growth of the brewing industry in the province means good Alberta-based jobs. It means fresher product, made from Alberta barley. And it means new opportunities to attract tourists to the iconic Alberta story, connecting entrepreneurs to our beautiful landscapes and our hard working and passionate farmers.
Because of our unique liquor retail model, Alberta consumers continue to have access to the widest selection of beer from around the world. With these changes, Albertans will have an even stronger local beer selection to choose from, without losing access to the choice they value. We applaud any Federal/Interprovincial efforts to streamline the flow of beer across the country, and hope Alberta breweries will soon have reciprocal unhindered access to beer markets in other Canadian provinces.
“The facts are clear: other provinces have built visible and invisible barriers that restrict Canadian-made beer importation, while privileging their local producers. Only Alberta has an open market. It is time for the rest of Canada to get on board, and we thank the Government of Alberta for their continued support of our industry,” said Neil Herbst, Chair of ASBA and owner of Alley Kat Brewing in Edmonton.
ASBA members applaud the consultative approach taken by the Minister and his staff in bringing these changes. We look forward to a continued productive working relationship as details of new programs are ironed out and implemented.
Terry Rock, Executive Director
About Alberta Small Brewers Association
The Alberta Small Brewers Association is a not-for-profit organization representing breweries in all parts of Alberta. We are committed to promoting craft Alberta beer, celebrating local entrepreneurs, educating the public on the benefits of local beer, and working with the Alberta Government to create the best brewing environment in Canada.