Local craft breweries get a boost

The reduction in mark-up rates, along with other industry changes, will allow craft breweries like Chilliwack's Old Yale Brewing to grow.

  • May. 28, 2016 7:00 a.m.
Chilliwack MLA John Martin visited Old Yale Brewing to celebrate the recent reduction in mark-up rates for small and regional breweries.

Chilliwack MLA John Martin visited Old Yale Brewing to celebrate the recent reduction in mark-up rates for small and regional breweries.

Chilliwack MLA John Martin toured Old Yale Brewing last Friday to raise a glass to some good news.

Effective July 3, 2016, the mark-up rate for small and regional breweries will be reduced by approximately 25 per cent per litre, meaning that craft breweries will have increased financial capacity to grow and expand.

“We’ve seen huge growth in craft beer in B.C. as more people turn to local options,” Martin said. “We are lucky to have an award winning local brewery right here in Chilliwack.”

“The reduced mark-up means breweries can continue to expand and grow their businesses.”

The B.C. craft beer industry has seen exponential growth over the past few years, increasing from 54 breweries in 2010 to 118 in 2015, with up to 20 additional new breweries on the horizon.

The B.C. government will also take action to improve cash flow for craft brewers, meaning they will have more money to fund payroll, rent, and investments in new equipment.

Craft breweries will no longer be required to remit all of the revenue from the sale of their products to the Liquor Distribution Branch before the mark-up is applied.

These changes are in direct response to feedback government received from British Columbians and industry through the Liquor Policy Review and wholesale pricing consultations.

“Our province is the craft beer leader in Canada and our established breweries have pioneered an industry that is now garnering world-wide recognition,” said Ken Beattie, executive director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild.

“Increased support from the provincial government will not only help grow the sector, it will provide much needed assistance to existing breweries that blazed the trail for craft beer in British Columbia.”

The reduced mark-up rate builds on previous provincial efforts to cut red tape in the craft beer industry,  measures which have resulted in a 35 per cent increase in the amount of craft beer produced in B.C. over the last year.

Additionally, microbreweries can now showcase their products at B.C. Liquor Stores before proving themselves in a larger marketplace, they can provide on-site tasting lounges in the brewery and sales at farmer’s markets, and the government is looking at ways to improve the process of getting a brewery licence.