Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries is lowering the markups for small producers in an effort to boost the province's local beer industry.

The announcement was made Thursday, and Ron Lemieux; minister of tourism, culture, heritage, sport and consumer protection, said the move will create opportunities in the province.

"These changes mean small craft brewers can keep more of their sales revenue and we anticipate small craft producers will reinvest in their businesses, create exciting new job and tourism opportunities right here in Manitoba, where Canada's heart beats," he said.

The changes will mean craft breweries, craft distilleries and cottage wineries will have flexibility to keep a greater portion of the revenue from sales of their products or to price it competitively and grow their market share.

Tyler Birch, owner of Barn Hammer Brewing, said the changes will make starting a small liquor business "so much easier."

"We will have more freedom to keep our beer interesting and still thrive," he said.

The changes come into effect on April 1, 2016.