Ford Government Tips Glass for Craft Brewers in Ontario

Doug Ford captivated his audience in Thunder Bay on Wednesday night
Doug Ford

TORONTO – POLITICS – “Ontario’s craft breweries have consistently shown their ability to create and deliver premium craft beers and our Government is proud to support their continued innovation and growth,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will help them expand operations and develop new markets for their high quality products here at home and abroad.”

“Craft breweries are thriving in Ontario and this investment will help these companies expand their consumer base, hire more employees and continue to grow,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Our government is committed to supporting Ontario’s craft breweries by expanding their market opportunities and improving customer convenience and choice by allowing them to sell their craft beers in retail stores across Ontario.”

Marking Ontario Craft Beer Week, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $1 million in 20 projects that will help craft breweries in the province better market their products locally and internationally, expand their operations and contribute even more to the economy.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the federal and provincial governments are providing support for technology solutions and marketing plans that will help craft breweries to expand markets and grow their businesses.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ontario Craft Beer Week. During that time our industry has grown to over 275 small independent breweries, but one thing has remained the same – our commitment to locally-made, high quality craft beer, using all natural ingredients,” said Scott Simmons, President of Ontario Craft Brewers. “This week is a celebration of our thriving local industry and allows communities and consumers alike to experience the premium quality and culture of Ontario craft beer.”

Craft beer is a fast-expanding industry in the province. The Ontario Craft Brewers association estimates the sector employs over 2,000 people in direct brewery jobs and thousands more in indirect jobs in industries such as tourism, food service, agriculture, and packaging and distribution, contributing over $1 billion towards Ontario’s economy annually.

Since first being introduced to the market in 1984, locally brewed Ontario craft beer has steadily gained popularity to become one of LCBO’s fastest-growing categories. Currently, there are approximately 184 craft breweries selling their product via the LCBO network, which generated almost $120 million in sales last year.

This investment supports projects that include:

  • $2,275 for Shacklands Brewing Co. to complete a market research study and marketing plan.
  • $75,000 for Great Lakes Brewery to purchase and install a new centrifuge separator system to reduce waste and increase efficiency and production.
  • $148,750 for Amsterdam Brewing Co. Limited to invest in a wet grist milling system to help improve labour productivity and product quality while also reducing waste.

These investments are part of $417 million committed by the federal and provincial governments to support the agri-food and agri-products sectors in Ontario.