VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 14, 2016) - The BC Craft Brewers Guild is disappointed by the shocking announcement from the Alberta Gaming and Licensing Commission (AGLC) of an increased markup of $1.25/L, imposed on all beer sold in the province beginning August 5, 2016, with pending subsidies for Alberta-based breweries soon to follow, according to the Alberta Finance Ministry. Creating barriers to entry runs contrary to the significant work most provincial governments and the federal government have been championing - namely, that barriers to interprovincial trade are unconstitutional, counter-productive and are contrary to consumer desires and, as such, must be removed.
"While our membership is based in BC, we have been encouraged by our neighbors in Alberta in their growing affinity for craft beer," says Ken Beattie, Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild. "It is disheartening to see that the Alberta government does not recognize that such extreme increases in markup to craft brewers outside Alberta will damage what could be a growing industry in the province and reduce affordability and selection for its own craft beer lovers. This apparent decision to construct trade barriers alienating the rest of Canada will ultimately damage not only the craft brewing landscape in Alberta, but the hospitality sector that supports it."
In partnership with the BC Government, markup reduction in BC was based on production volume and not production location, providing a significant win for all brewers, including those from Alberta doing business in BC. Spinoff industries, such as hop farms, tank fabricators and hospitality sector businesses and their employees will all enjoy this benefit. "In short, B.C. Craft Brewers and other craft brewers across the country, invest and generate tax revenue locally, provincially and nationally. The Alberta government needs to see the bigger picture and recognize their short-sighted policy is a disservice to small Canadian breweries located outside of Alberta" said Beattie.
"Sadly this announcement will ultimately punish those who are indirectly connected to out-of-province breweries - namely hospitality sector employees, sales agencies representing BC craft beer brands and most importantly the craft beer consumer who now will be faced with severe price increases on craft beer with, inevitably, reduced selection", says Beattie.
About The BC Craft Brewers Guild
The BC Craft Beer Guild represents BC Craft Brewers through the province. Some are small, and others even smaller, but all brew flavorful, local beer with passion and dedication. BC Craft Breweries and their brewpubs employ more than 2,500 people who help create and serve BC Craft Beer. The mission of the BC Craft Brewers Guild is to support the creation and discovery of truly great BC Craft Beer through supportive legislation, education, public awareness and the responsible enjoyment of our Craft Beer.