Sales of locally produced beer, wine and spirits have jumped significantly, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation says.
During the last quarter of 2015, local wine sales rose by around 15 per cent to $2.8 million, compared to the same three months in 2014. Nova Scotia craft beer sales grew by more than 25 per cent to $2 million.
The end of the year is typically a strong time for alcohol sales due to the holiday season, NSLC said in a third quarter report released Thursday.
Local products account for less than eight per cent of NSLC's overall sales.
NSLC boosts local brewery
Christiane Jost, general manager of Tatamagouche Brewing, said NSLC started carrying her beers in November, boosting the brewery's sales by 25 per cent.
"It's been great," Jost said. "Before we were limited by our own distribution, which was Halifax and our own local area of Tatamagouche, so now we are able to be provincewide."
Jost said she thinks the taste for craft beers is part of a movement toward eating and drinking local products.
"The majority of craft breweries are in local areas, as is Tatamagouche Brewing," Jost said. "People are able to support local provincewide."
Nova Scotia now has 23 microbreweries, NSLC said in its report.
Local distilleries grow the most
The local distillery industry, while relatively small, saw the largest growth.
Sales of local spirits almost tripled from the previous year to $580,000 in the last quarter of 2015, NSLC said.
The corporation attributed much of that success to Fortress Amber Rum, distilled in the Caribbean, blended in Guysborough and aged at the Fortress of Louisbourg.
'Wave of artisanal and craft producers'
Better business helps the province, said Glynn Williams, who owns the rum's maker, Authentic Seacoast Distilling company.
"The province is benefiting from this wave of artisanal and craft producers that are really having an impact on their communities," Williams said.
"In our location of Guysborough, we're one of the largest employers now in the community."
The company is building a new, larger distillery on an adjacent property to increase production, Williams said.
NSLC sold $157.8 million in alcohol overall in its third quarter, the final one of 2015. It profited $64.4 million, an increase of 3.9 per cent from the same time a year prior.