Policy Changes for New Brunswick Craft Brewers Receive Mixed Response from Industry

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FREDERICTON, NB – A set of new policies and fees for craft brewers introduced by NB Liquor are being criticized by some in the industry as being too restrictive.

As reported by CBC News, the changes implemented on April 1st include a new tiered fee structure for beer and cider makers in the province, that will mean no per-litre fees will be paid for kegs sold by those that make less than 49,900 litres per year, but increased for those above that threshold.

Other changes include:

  • Eliminating the minimum on the number of hours that a brewery or cidery retail store needs to be open.
  • Allowing breweries to sell beer from other New Brunswick producers in their store alongside their own products.
  • Allowing breweries to open additional retail stores, up to a maximum of four, based on the amount of beer they produce.

Stephen Dixon, the president of the New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association and the owner of Grimross Brewing, tells CBC that while some changes will benefit NB brewers and cider makers, others will be detrimental to their business, notably the increase in keg sales fees for breweries that increase their product above the mandated threshold.

According to Dixon, “there is no other industry in New Brunswick that has a penalty for growth, and that’s what this is in my mind — a penalty. There can be reasonable fees for services, I don’t have a problem with that, but this is way out of whack and way out of proportion.”

For more details, see the full CBC News article.

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