B.C. increases adjustments for regional brewers

PRINCE GEORGE – Regional brewers in every corner of the province, including Pacific Western Brewing, in Prince George, will now benefit from an additional $10 million a year in economic support thanks to a significant reduction in the mark-up rate for craft beer products.

Effective July 3, 2016, the mark-up rate for small and regional breweries will be reduced by approximately 25 per cent, meaning craft breweries will have increased financial capacity to grow and expand. These changes further improve mark-up rates for craft beer announced last year when government introduced the new wholesale pricing model, and will enable craft breweries to increase production and create jobs, while increasing the availability of high quality, made-in-B.C. products.

The B.C. government will also take action to improve cash flow for regional and craft brewers. They will no longer be required to remit the supplier price of their products to the Liquor Distribution Branch.

“Breweries across the province are faced with the challenge of keeping up with increased market demand,” Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said. “Reductions will help make it easier for breweries to expand.”

“Pacific Western Brewing has provided B.C. with specialty beer since 1957,” Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. “They’re a successful regional brewery and our government is working hard to encourage the growth and prosperity of breweries like these. Pacific Western Brewing is a job creator and an important contributor to the economy of our city and region.”

These changes are in direct response to feedback from British Columbians and industry through the Liquor Policy Review and wholesale pricing consultations. The reduced mark-up rate builds on previous provincial efforts to cut red tape and increase supports for the regional and craft beer industry, which have resulted in a 35 per cent increase in the amount of craft beer produced in B.C. over the last year, including:

  • Microbreweries now have opportunities to showcase their products at their local BC Liquor Stores – even before they’ve proven themselves in the larger marketplace,
  • Breweries can access new revenue streams thanks to changes that allow on-site tasting lounges at breweries and beer sales at artisan and farmers’ markets,
  • Breweries now have the ability to sell other types of liquor at in their lounges and special event areas, allowing patrons to enjoy a glass of wine or a mixed drink while their friends enjoy a beer.
  • Government is also taking a closer look at ways to improve the process for getting a brewery licence and exploring a quality assurance program for craft producers to help promote made-in-B.C. beer.MLAs Mike Morris and Shirley Bond join Pacific Western Brewing representatives.

Read the full list of Liquor Policy Review recommendations:  www2.gov.bc.ca/local/haveyoursay/Docs/liquor_policy_review_report.pdf.