British Columbia

B.C. reduces craft beer markups and cuts red tape for brewers

Craft beer brewers will benefit from a 25 per cent reduction in the markup rate imposed by the B.C. government as of July 2016, according to the province.

Reduction is equivalent to $10 million in economic support for craft brewers, says province

The province is reducing the markup rate for craft brewers by 25 percent per litre. (Getty Images)

Craft beer brewers will benefit from a 25 per cent reduction in the markup rate imposed by the B.C. government as of July 2016, according to the province.

The markup rate is the amount of money breweries must give to the provincial government, based on the amount of liquor sales. The reduction is equivalent to $10 million in economic support, said the government in a written release.

The change gives small-scale brewers greater control over their cash flow, according to Coralee Oakes, Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

"This means craft brewers will have more money for important business operations, making it easier for them to fund their payroll, pay their rent, and invest in new equipment."

John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform and Coralee Oakes, Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, were among several others making the announcement about craft brewery rules Friday morning. (CBC)

The government is also exploring ways it can cut red tape for craft brewers, including improving the brewery licence process, according to John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform.

The province has seen a 44 per cent increase in the amount of beer produced by microbreweries since 2013.

A response to critics

The B.C. government introduced several revisions to its liquor policy, including the wholesale pricing structure for beer, wine and liquor sales in April 2015.

The change angered many, including craft beer enthusiasts and the NDP, who said the new pricing structure drove up costs for consumers.

As a result, the government reviewed its liquor policy in the fall of 2015.

That review resulted in 73 recommendations and 41 of them have been implemented so far, according to the government.

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