In Fredericton it isn’t out of the ordinary to go to a pub downtown after work, or with a friend, to have a drink. Especially to a local pub, with local beer.
With an increased number of microbreweries across the province, there has been a higher demand for their products; ranging from beer, to wine, to cider.
However, there are brewers that say the New Brunswick government could do more to help the growing industry by promoting, allowing the sale of the product in a variety of stores, or just lowering the taxes.
Paul Maybee, owner of Maybee Brewing Co., would like to see taxes for local beer lowered.
“Our belief as the craft brewing industry in New Brunswick is that if these taxes are reasonable, if they’re lowered, then we will be able to become the craft beer capital of Canada…,” said Maybee.
“… we’re far behind in every other way, why not look at this as ‘this is our chance’ of putting New Brunswick back on the map as a destination for people…”
A similar thought is shared with Adam Clawson, owner of Red Rover Craft Cider. He talks about trying to create a valued product to export, and drawing revenue back into the province for industry growth.
The New Brunswick government unveiled the new Local Food and Beverages Strategy on October 19, 2016.
The strategy plans to aid local food and beverages by boosting awareness and consumption of the products, according to a statement from the Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister, Rick Doucet.
Funds for the promotion of craft products will fall under the responsibility of Alcool N.B. Liquor. The funds will come from their sales revenue.
Clawson mentions the lack of access available for beer and cider brewers, and sees it as unfortunate.
“One big thing that as an association we’ve been hoping for is an increase in access. This isn’t the case for any other producers apart from people who are currently producing wine from their own grapes.”
Earlier Clawson brought up how local ciders and beer still will not be sold in grocery stores like local wine currently is.
So far the strategy [linked below] merely outlines the success of craft alcohols in the province, and suggests how they could advance sales in the future. Overall, there’s a lack of clarity on what exactly the government will be doing.
The largest growth sectors are in the beer, spirits, and cider sectors Clawson claimed.
“Unfortunately what they’ve come out with for the beverage sector really only encompasses people who are raw material producers, and more specifically, just wine.”