Tuesday , June 15 2021

Brewers of Ontario Brewers Launch Campaign for Less Bureaucracy, Larger Market Share



A trade association, representing craft breweries in Ontario, has launched a campaign lobbying the province to relax the laws covering the way these businesses work.

The Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) campaign, called "Big Beer, Better Access," encourages craft beer fans to participate in private retail sales counseling as it appears to increase access to alcohol beyond LCBO and The Beer Store.

The consultation period in the province ends on February 1.

"This framework limits the natural growth of craft beer," said OCB President Scott Simmons.

OCZ, which represents about 95 of the 270 small breweries in the province, wants the province to cut bureaucracy, which the group claims to hamper their ability to expand.

CBC Toronto turned to the Minister of Finance for comment but did not get an answer.

At present, artisan breweries can have up to two retail outlets, but an indefinite number of production facilities.

Dustin Jones, as well as his brother Bryden, are owners of Brewing Brewers. (Provided by Dustin Jones)

"We are exhausted," said Dustin Jones, who founded Blood Brothers Brewing in Toronto with his brother in 2015.

Last year, the company produced 350,000 liters of beer, which, according to Jones, is a small operation. Blood Brothers sells online and in bars in Toronto, but the shopping line is for them.

Jones, who is not a member of the OCB, hopes the province will consider other retail models.

"It's too cumbersome"

"We will be glad to see … specialized stores in Ontario," he said.

According to Simmons, craft beer accounts for eight percent of all beer sales in Ontario.

He believes that this figure could double more if breweries do not have to deal with multiple ministries or apply for different licenses. Right now craft brewers have to apply for special licenses for sale on farmers' markets, a process that does not apply to those who sell craft wine or cider.

"It's too cumbersome," says Simmons.


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