Premier Rachel Notley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci tour the Cold Garden Beverage Company brewery in Calgary – GOA Photo

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta says it is committing ongoing support for the province’s rapidly expanding brewing and liquor production industry.

The 2017 budget includes $25 million for the Alberta Small Brewers Development Program, launched last August to help small, Alberta-based brewers grow their businesses. A similar program for small distillers, wineries, and meaderies (honey wine) is in the works.

“We know continued growth in craft brewing allows us to expand markets and create jobs for Albertans,” said Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, in a government news release on the funding. “It also creates additional opportunities for our commodity producers to provide the ingredients for these products. The $25-million Small Brewers Development Program is one example of how we are diversifying the economy and helping Alberta-based companies increase production capacity, launch new products and develop new markets.”

Fifty small brewers have accessed the program since it was introduced last year, accessing nearly $16 million.

Terry Rock, executive director, Alberta Small Brewers Association, said the Alberta Small Brewers Development Program has been a tremendous benefit to Alberta’s burgeoning craft brewing industry.

“By recognizing the unique needs of small local brewers competing against multinational industrial players, the government has levelled the playing field, leading to dozens of new jobs and millions of dollars of new capital investment. Growth in Alberta craft beer continues, which is great news for Albertans,” he said.

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