Harper throws Alberta micro-breweries a budget bone
New rules will increase creativity, ease of getting product to market
Alberta's micro-breweries say a measure in the federal budget to cut red tape will allow them to make more creative beers and get them onto store shelves more quickly.
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Ottawa is changing some regulations governing the labelling of beer and while the changes might appear small, they could encourage the development of some exciting new brews.
"Getting new beers approved, you had to get special approvals and go through certain hoops," said Greg Zeschuk with the Alberta Small Brewers' Association. "Now, that's gone. Once it's put into law, it will be a lot smoother for brewers to make what they want and be really creative."
Under the old rules, breweries had to get approval before they could release new and different styles of beer.
For years, brewers like Alley Kat and Big Rock have complained about having to negotiate their way through red tape when trying to introduce new brews.
The new rules would create new standards under food and drug regulations to allow beer to include more ingredients and still be labelled as beer.
The government also announced plans to update Canada's liquor laws and allow for the transport of beer across provincial boundaries — if provincial governments accommodate the change.