Persephone Brewing & Crannóg Ales Threatened With Closure due to Revised Agricultural Rules

GIBSONS, BC & SORRENTO, BC – Two farm-based breweries in British Columbia may have to close or relocate due to changes in the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve regulations.

Persephone Brewing and Crannóg Ales are both located in ALR zones and grow hops on their farms. In the case of Crannóg, 98% of the hops needed for its beers are grown on-site.

However, according to the new rules set out by the Agricultural Land Commission, hops are not considered a core brewing ingredient, and any farm-based breweries located in the ALR must produce at least 50 per cent of the other ingredients used in their beers – i.e. barley and other grains. As Brian MacIsaac of Crannóg explains to What’s Brewing, that simply isn’t feasible:

“Raw barley is not a brewing ingredient. Barley must be malted before it is usable for brewing. We rely on Gambrinus Malting of Armstrong for our malt needs, they source from all over the place including BC farms.” He adds “much of BC is not at all suitable for the production of malting barley, which has entirely different climate and cultural needs from feed barley”.

Brian Smith of Persephone tells News 1130 that he feels breweries in the ALR should fall under the same rules that allow wineries to purchase ingredients from another BC farm and have it count towards the 50 per cent quota.

Perspehone and Crannóg are continuing discussions with the ALC and the Minister of Agriculture in hopes of changing the legislation, and Persephone has also launched an online petition to allow the public to have their say.

For more details, see the articles linked above, as well as this Vancouver Sun story.

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