New provincial grant program helps out local brewer

Alberta Small Brewers Development Program put in place by the province

  • Aug. 4, 2016 6:00 a.m.

BY RYAN WELLICOME

Lacombe Express

Lacombe’s own Blindman Brewing Company feels positive about the new Alberta Small Brewers Development Program put in place by the Alberta Government.

The program, put in place last week, offers brewers that produce no more than 300,000 hectolitres (30 million litres) the ability to receive provincial grants to help their business.

“Along with other small brewers we are excited that the Alberta Government has done this for us,” said Hans Doef, an owner at Blindman Brewing.

“For Alberta brewers it is going to make a positive impact.”

The grant program has been put in place in order to offset cost for small brewers a cost incurred by a new across-the-board markup taking effect Aug. 5th.

The markup, collected by the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (AGLC), is $1.25 per litre of all beer, regardless of its production origin.

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said the universal markup was introduced in order to, “Level the playing field.”

Accordign to Ceci, the grant program could see $20 million coming back to small brewers annually.

He said it will help brewers grow and expand while helping to grow the local craft brewing sector.

The new markup replaced a graduated markup system that was based on a brewery’s size the smaller the brewer’s production, the smaller the markup.

“It was a scare when we heard about the $1.25 markup without getting any concrete grant program specifics,” said Doef.

The provincial government instructed the AGLC to introduce the markup in July while at the same time assured brewers the grant program in the works at the time would help offset that cost.

The grant program will allow small brewers to gain a significant portion of that money back.

The monetary amount that a brewer can receive is capped at $12 million per brewer and is on a sliding scale based on sales numbers.

Doef said the program would help get Blindman back to the markup scheme they once had.

“It’ll get us back down to that initial bracket that we were in, but it will go a roundabout way to do that,” he said.

“It’s more complicated but it gets us to the same end goal.”

The new universal markup has received opposition from small brewers in Saskatchewan and British Columbia because it will make it harder to access the Alberta market.

As the universal markup affects all beer regardless of it origin, it will create higher costs for out of province brewers to sell in Alberta markets.

Out of province brewers do not receive provincial grants and, therefore, feel as though Alberta brewers will have an unfair advantage.

This could cause some brewers to re-evaluate their place in the Alberta market.

Doef said the possible cut in competition could be good for Blindman and other small brewers in Alberta.

“We can probably grow a bit faster because some of these B.C. and Saskatchewan breweries are going to be having a harder time getting into the market now,” he said.

“Some of those taps and accounts could be more readily available from the start.”

Blindman Brewing opened its doors in late 2015 and has seen success since it began operations.

Its Kettle Sour and Blindman River Session Ale both won silver awards at the Canadian Brewery Awards held in Vancouver in May.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Lacombe selected as 2019 Canada Games Torch Relay stop

The MNP Canada Games Torch Relay is a significant element of the Canada Games

Seventh annual ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ set for June 7th

Red Deer fundraising event to take place at The Outreach Centre

RDC introduces Justice Studies diploma to fill community gap

Forty students will begin studies in Fall 2018

City of Lacombe Block Party program heats up for summer

City looks to create close-knit neighbourhoods

WATCH: Red Deer Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year announced

Terry Loewen and Gian Carlo Estoesta landed this year’s honours

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

WATCH: Alix holds 2nd annual Icebreaker Roughstock

Many come out to see some intense rodeo action

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Most Read