Saskatchewan microbreweries call for revised liquor laws
Microbreweries, brewpubs booming in Saskatchewan
Microbrewing has become a hopping business in Saskatchewan in the last few years, and local brewers say liquor laws need to be revised to keep it that way.
A decade ago, microbeweries were an anomaly in the province, but that has started to change.
There are now at least five operating in Saskatchewan, including Bin Brewing, District Brewing Company, Nokomis Craft Ales, Paddockwood Brewing Co., and Black Bridge Brewery, compared to one just five years ago.
Jay Cooke, president and brew master at District Brewing Company, has been making Mus Knuckle, the company's flagship beer, in Regina's warehouse district for more than a year.
He said the market is ready for more microbreweries and craft beer.
"I've been a professional brewer for 10 years now and I've kind of worked all over North America and Regina's my hometown, so I thought, 'come back to Regina and live my dream here,'" said Cooke.
"Saskatchewan is still being dragged kicking and screaming into the 1990s from the 1980s. So we have a long way to go before we're really like B.C. or Ontario, Quebec," said Robertson.
There are currently 35 brewpubs in the province that, depending on the business, serve their craft beers in house or sell them in off sales and commercially.
Roberston said the way to make the environment even more hospitable for brewers, is to revisit the liquor laws.
Premier considering new liquor laws
In a year-end interview with CBC News, the premier said he is considering that as an option.
"We have a growing industry here, and we still have these rules, somewhat arcane perhaps, that are actually getting in the way of our own industry promoting and selling their product to Saskatchewan people, never mind inter-provincial trade," said Wall.
"If we are, that's dumb and we should fix that."
"We all work hand in hand and really the more breweries the better for us overall because what it's going to do is just turn each individual consumer into a craft beer lover."
With files from CBC's Arielle Zerr