Province announces incentives for B.C. breweries
Economy Monday, November 26, 2012 12:21 PM

PRINCE GEORGE - Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman today confirmed the Province has instituted a new mark-up policy which will make it easier for B.C.-based breweries to grow and be successful.

Under the new policy, the mark-up rate will increase incrementally between 160,000 and 300,000 hectolitres (hL).

The change moderates the mark-up rates in a manner that will help small breweries to grow.

Prior to the change, the upper limit to qualify for the favourable rate was 160,000 hL. At 160,001 hL, a small brewery was taxed at a rate of $1.75 per litre for packaged beer and $1.20 per litre for draft beer for every hL produced, including the first 160,000.

Now a brewery will have a favourable mark-up rate up to 300,000 hL. For instance, at 160,000 hL the mark up rate is $1.16 per litre for packaged beer and $0.81 per litre for draft beer. For packaged beer, this rate slides upward by about two cents for every 5,000 hL of production between 160,000 and 300,000 hL. For draft beer, the rate slides upward by approximately one cent per 5,000 hL.

Presently, seven B.C.-based breweries are in a position to benefit from a revised mark-up rate, which will help them to produce a made-in-B.C. product that creates jobs in their communities.

Liquor mark-up rates are set by Liquor Distribution Branch policy as approved by the Province. The policy is being revised following consultation with smaller and larger brewers in early 2012.

This new formula has been put in place and industry has been notified of the change by letter.

Since 1988, the government of British Columbia has supported small breweries with favourable mark-up rates to encourage growth and development.


Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines -

"Small breweries create high-quality and sought-after beers that are enjoyed by people throughout the province, and our government wants to create incentives for B.C.-based breweries to continue to expand and build on their successes."

Mark James, owner, Red Truck Brewery -

"This change supports small breweries in B.C. and gives them further incentives to grow. While Red Truck is a small brewery right now, it's nice to know that as we expand there are fair policies like this in place that will support our successes moving forward."

Ian Galbraith, Stanley Park Brewery -

"Changes like this will go a long way towards supporting smaller craft breweries that contribute significantly to local economies in British Columbia. These types of incentives for Stanley Park Brewery will lead to increased production which translates into the creation of more local jobs and further investment in British Columbia."

Pat Bell, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie -

"While this change is great for Pacific Western Brewery's expansion and success, on a local level this change helps ensure that hard-working brewery employees from Prince George keep their jobs."

Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount -

"Every job counts to our government and to me as an MLA. This is why a lot of hard work was done to preserve jobs in our community and find a balanced approach to liquor regulations in our province."

John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes -

"Pacific Western Brewery is a strong economic driver in the region, and these changes will ensure this company has the ability to expand and continue supporting local jobs."

Neil Glazier, 32-year employee, local resident and union president -

"The employees at Pacific Western Brewery are very pleased with this announcement. This puts B.C. workers and B.C. jobs first here in Prince George. With this, we can continue to brew quality beer for B.C. beer lovers at a reasonable price, without incurring penalties for our growth and success."

Quick Facts:

The B.C. government is modernizing liquor laws in B.C. Changes made since February include:

  • Liquor in theatres:
    - Provides flexibility to live-event venues and revises liquor laws for movie theatres.

  • Corkage - bring your own bottle:
    - Provides opportunities for restaurant customers that want to bring their own wine into a licensed dining establishment.

  • Penalties for bootlegging:
    - Police and liquor inspectors now have the ability to issue $575 tickets to people found giving or serving liquor to anyone under the age of 19.

  • Personal importation of liquor into B.C.:
    - Allows B.C. residents to bring back an unlimited amount of 100-per-cent Canadian wine if it is for personal consumption and purchased from a recognized winery in another province, or choose to have it shipped from the winery directly to their home.
    - Allows B.C. residents returning from another Canadian province to bring back on-their-person up to nine litres of wine, three litres of spirits, and a combined total of 25.6 litres of beer, cider or coolers for personal consumption.

Media contact:

Sandra Steilo
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas
250 952-0617

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