Ontario brewers get green light to sell local 'artisanal products'

Cheese curds, dog biscuits and maple syrup could soon be on the shelves of your favourite craft brewery after the provincial alcohol regulator updated its policies this week.

Provincial liquor manufacturers can now also sell alcohol paraphernalia, books and magazines

John vanDyk, co-owner fo Covered Bridge Brewing, can now sell dog biscuits thanks to new provincial regulations. (CBC)

Cheese curds, dog biscuits and maple syrup could soon be on the shelves of your favourite craft brewery after the provincial alcohol regulator updated its policies this week.

As of Jan. 4, 2016, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario allows the sale of artisanal products made in the province at the retail stores of wine, beer and spirits manufacturers.

It's welcome news for an Ottawa brewery that was barred from selling dog biscuits made out of the grain leftover from the beer-making process.

John vanDyk, the co-owner of Covered Bridge Brewing in the suburban community of Stittsville, said at the time he and his wife want to donate the proceeds from their "beer bones" to the Ontario SPCA.

He said his medium-sized brewery produces about 363 kg of leftover grain mash per week that would otherwise be wasted.

The owner of Cassel Brewery, east of Ottawa in Casselman, Ont., said he was previously turned down to sell St. Albert cheese curds at his brewery.

Now that the rules have been changed, Mario Bourgeois plans add more items for sale.

"Over the years, we've been thinking about it. It would be cool to have that right to sell local producer food and articles," he told Stu Mills on CBC Radio's All In A Day.

"We want to support our local producers, support each other. It makes sense."

Listen to the full interview below.

Cheese curds, beer biscuits, maple syrup -- all things you could find at a microbrewery storefront, according to new guidelines published by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. 6:47

The new regulations come after the commission launched a "liquor modernization project" in 2013, a spokesperson told CBC News in an email

Find out more about the changes here.