VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 7, 2014) - The B.C. Craft Brewers Guild is encouraged by B.C. government's recent announcement of its plan to allow the sale of B.C. Craft Beer alongside B.C. VQA wines on B.C. grocery store shelves.
"The Premier and Government have listened to B.C. consumers asking for availability B.C. Craft Beer and VQA wine in aisles of grocery stores. This increased opportunity for people to enjoy or discover great-tasting B.C. Craft Beer also presents a real opportunity to increase B.C. jobs and investment in communities throughout B.C." said Ken Beattie, Executive Director, B.C. Craft Brewers Guild.
"One of the benefits of craft brewing is that it's not limited to a specific climate, so B.C. Craft Breweries are popping up all over B.C. often providing much-needed B.C. jobs and investments and previously unrealized tourism and economic growth opportunities. This will increased profile through expanded availability will create a win-win for our members and their communities."
B.C. Craft Breweries and craft beer-owned brewpubs employ over 2,000 people throughout B.C. and have invested over $100 million in equipment and expansion in the past two years alone. In 2013, 10 new craft breweries opened. In 2014, 21 new Craft Breweries are expected to open around the province-representing 30% growth with an additional projected investment of $50 million dollars.
To support the successful realization of this potential economic driver, the Craft Brewers Guild looks forward to working with government to establish guidelines around the criteria for "B.C. Craft Beer" and this new program. This is consistent with the B.C. Liquor Policy Review Final Report and key recommendations, specifically recommendation 26 which states:
"We will be working with Government to establish a quality assurance program for B.C. craft beer and artisan-distilled spirits (similar to the VQA wine program)."
Brewing and shelf space in B.C. has traditionally been dominated by large mega breweries, once Canadian owned but long since purchased by foreign interests. These breweries have, until recently, monopolized and dominated the beer landscape through significant investment in advertising, retail presence and even government relations. Profits from their success do not stay here in B.C. but are siphoned off to foreign owners. Recently, British Columbians tastes have turned to more flavorful, premium, B.C. craft beers.
"In short, B.C. Craft Brewers invest in B.C. We create local jobs, pay local taxes, and support local businesses and communities. Throughout North America, our local B.C. craft beers are being recognized, and we now look forward to the opportunity to showcase our local products on the grocery store shelves and to generate even further economic activity here at home," said Beattie.
About The B.C. Craft Brewers Guild
The B.C. Craft Beer Guild represents B.C. Craft Brewers through the province. Some are small, and others even smaller, but all brew flavorful, local beer with passion and dedication. B.C. Craft Breweries and their brewpubs employ more than 2,000 people who help create and serve B.C. Craft Beer. The mission of the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild is to support the creation and discovery of truly great B.C. Craft Beer through supportive legislation, education, public awareness and the responsible enjoyment of our Craft Beer.