Ontario supporting the growth of small breweries

Minister of Finance Charles Sousa

Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, was at Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto today to highlight changes to the Small Beer Manufacturers’ Tax Credit included in the 2018 Ontario Budget. If passed, changes would enable more breweries to expand their operations, create jobs and fuel economic growth. Changes are proposed to come into effect retroactively, starting March 1st.

“Ontario’s innovative and thriving small breweries support local agriculture, spur economic growth and deliver new and exciting products to consumers. That’s why we are delighted to provide continued supports to help small breweries make long-term investments to grow and expand their businesses — creating good jobs in communities across the province,” stated Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance.

These changes build on previous measures the government has taken to support small breweries in Ontario, including:

  • Expanding the sale of beer to more than 350 grocery stores, with at least 20 per cent of beer shelf space reserved for small brewers’ products. Eventually beer will be available in 450 grocery stores.
  • Allowing breweries to have a bar or restaurant at each of their licensed manufacturing sites.
  • Reducing the beer tax rate from 90 cents per litre to 40 cents for sales of microbrewery beer.
  • Removing the tax on up to 10,000 litres of beer/year for product promotion at on-site retail stores (e.g., samples or tastings).
  • Developing a new agreement to strengthen the position of small and craft brewers, including improved product placement, shelf space and other marketing practices in the Beer Store locations.

Quick facts:

  • The proposed changes to the Small Beer Manufacturers’ Tax Credit includes increasing the amount of support for brewers with taxable sales between 75,000 and 200,000 hectolitres, and increasing the worldwide production eligibility for the credit from 150,000 to 300,000 hectolitres.
  • Craft beer is a rapidly expanding sector in Ontario, employing thousands of people in direct brewery jobs, and generating more than $89 million in sales in 2016/17 at the LCBO.
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