Beer is still king in the province according to the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and drinkers are keeping it local.

Despite a drop in the total volume of alcohol sold in the province, earnings at the NSLC increased during the last fiscal year, according to the year-end results released by the corporation on Wednesday. 

While the total volume of alcohol sold was down 2.8 per cent, the liquor corporation reported a 0.8 per cent boost in net come to $228 million.

Meanwhile, the same of Nova Scotia craft beers jumped by 22 per cent, compared to an 11.7 per cent growth last year.

The NSLC said growth was bolstered by the addition of new breweries including Boxing Rock Brewing in Shelburne, Authentic Seacoast Brewing in Guysborough, Hell Bay Brewing in Liverpool and the Whiffen Brewing Company in Lyons Brook.

In 2007, the province had eight craft breweries. Today there are 16 and two or three more are expected to enter the market by the end of the year.

Cider sales have more than doubled in the past year, up 146 per cent and building on a 95 per cent growth spurt in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The NSLC said sales of provincially produced wines went up 10.6 per cent, which is a decrease from the 21.9 per cent growth the previous year.

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In 2007, the province had eight craft breweries. Today there are 16 and two or three more are expected to enter the market by the end of the year. (CBC)

Total sales from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 were $593.2 million, an increase of $223,000 from last year.

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation said although the number of purchases was down 2.37 per cent, customers were spending more during each transaction.

"Even though Nova Scotians continue to drink less, they're increasingly turning to more premium and local options," Bret Mitchell, the president and CEO of the NSLC, said in a statement.

Beer makes up 46.6 per cent of all NSLC sales, followed by spirits at 27.9 per cent, wine at 21.5 per cent and ready-to-drink beverages at four per cent.

With files from The Canadian Press