Alberta Drops Minimum Alcohol Production Laws, Opening Market to Smaller Breweries

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CALGARY, AB – The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has announced that minimum production capacity requirements for breweries and other alcohol producers in the province have been dropped, a move that will allow micro- and nano-breweries to open up shop in Alberta for the first time.

As part of a report on recommended changes to liquor laws released yesterday, the AGLC indicated that the 250,000 litre minimum production quota that had to be met by any new brewery opening in the province has been removed from the books effective immediately.

As reported in the Calgary Herald, this is expected to have a almost instant impact on Alberta’s brewing industry, as start-ups like Tool Shed Brewing – which has been contact brewing its beer in British Columbia while trying to raise $2 million to build a large facility in Calgary – will be able to get up and running very quickly with much smaller financial outlay and brewing capacities more suited to a still growing craft brewing scene.

Other changes will allow breweries, distilleries and wineries to expand into other alcoholic beverages without applying for a separate production license; and will permit retail sales of beers brewed at brewpubs. But unchanged – for now – is the graduated taxation structure that allows small out of province breweries to receive the same tax incentives as small Alberta breweries, something that breweries in the province would like to see changed.

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