The AGLC sides with the “little guy”.

As many of you who already read this blog on a regular basis, you may already be aware of some of the recent changes in the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission‘s (AGLC) rules for breweries. Although many who are heavily involved and have invested interests in the beer scene already have complained that not enough has been done to address the complicated tax structure, home brewers like me are quite excited about one important thing: the removal of the minimum production requirements. Gone are the days when you needed to have the capacity to brew 50 HL (lots and lots of beer!) before the AGLC would even consider allowing you to open a brewery, unless you had a restaurant on premises. Another restaurant in Alberta? Well, unless you’re an amazing chef and have something new to bring to the table, you won’t last a year regardless of how awesome your beer is.

Alberta Craft Beer, Alberta Microbreweries

Alberta’s homebrewing community and craft beer lovers have something to celebrate with this change. The future of local craft beer should be exciting!

Effective immediately (as of December 2, 2013) as long as you’ve got the drive and determination, a few dollars, a couple of tanks and a space to lease, you can open a brewery! This now puts Alberta’s best and brightest (or most adventurous) brewers on a level playing field with our brethren in BC and Ontario. It seems every other week, there is a new brewery opening up in one of those two provinces. They’ve brought us amazing breweries like Phillips Brewing Co (Victoria, BC), Flying Monkeys (Barrie, ON) and Parallel 49 (Vancouver, BC). I believe these great breweries would not have been a success, nor would the brewers ever have attempted to open a brew house if they needed a 50 HL production minimum to get up and running. They believe, as many do, it’s easier to scale up than it is to scale down.

Being a member of the Calgary home brew club, Yeast Wranglers, there has been a lot of buzz around this piece and the first applicants for a new brewery happened to be local boys, Graham Sherman and Jeff Orr (owners of Tool Shed Brewing Co). The amount of people here that I know personally who can brew amazing beers are great in numbers, and I think that within the next few years, we will see a true “craft beer revolution”. With our bright minds, the influx of immigration and investment dollars flowing into our province, the new Brewmaster program at Olds College, and as a home brewer myself, I can’t wait to see what happens in Alberta.

This entry was posted in Alberta Microbrewery News, Craft Beer and tagged , , by zachwiskar. Bookmark the permalink.

About zachwiskar

I've been a craft beer guy for a lot of years. Even before I truly discovered the hop-forward styles I tend to lean to now, I was bringing six packs of imported German hefeweizen to the party. I've been home brewing for a few years now and have won a few medals for some of my creations. I've been working on a bit of a beer cellar for the past 3 years as well, and I'll be chronicling some of the adventures in that respect on this blog.

2 thoughts on “The AGLC sides with the “little guy”.

  1. Awesome article Zach! I am really psyched about the elimination of the minimum production requirements because I expect that more Alberta homebrewers and entrepreneurs will step up.

    As for the tax system, I would hate to see any imports being blocked, to me that would be the worst thing to do. Our choice here is incredible and we need to keep it that way. If anything perhaps a larger tax break could be given to the small breweries operating within the province. Of course, the ideal thing would be for our fellow provinces to throw off the shackles of their government controlled liquor boards and copy our model. But I think that getting all of the provinces to agree on that would be just as likely as getting them to agree to something like senate reform lol.

  2. Pingback: Cheers to 19 Years of Brew Brothers Craft Beer | Western Suds

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