Support on tap for craft brewers in Alberta


The provincial government is continuing to show support for the craft brewing industry in Alberta, after presenting a $60,000 grant to the Alberta Small Brewers Association at The Dandy Brewing Company in Calgary Oct. 25.

The funds will be used for tourism initiatives across Alberta to help put breweries on the map. Matt Gaetz, co-owner of The Dandy Brewing Company, said he welcomes the support.

“I think it’s great. The Province has really shown a lot of support this year with the introduction of grant programs to help foster this craft brewing culture in the province that didn’t exist three years ago,” he said.

“It’s definitely another step to show that our Province is on board with helping the small brewers out and really showing that they are on board with the growth that we’re seeing with the breweries in the province.”

Gaetz is an Airdrie resident and opened The Dandy Brewing Company with three business partners in 2014. He said the owners of the nano-brewery felt honoured to be asked to host the Oct. 25 press conference.

“The exposure is great,” he said.

“I think the announcement being at a small brewery was just very fitting. We’re really happy that this money is going to be used to attract people to our brewery and Alberta as a whole.”

According to a press release issued by the Province Oct. 25, the craft brewing industry has grown significantly in the last few years and there are more than 65 brewing licence holders in Alberta.

The $60,000 grant will help further grow the industry through a digital platform to promote local touring and staycations, as well as the creation of industry-focused education programs.

“The craft brewing industry adds to the vibrancy of the province’s culinary tourism offerings and helps highlight the importance of the food and beverage industry to the visitor experience in Alberta,” Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, said in the release.

“The ‘Alberta Beer’ grant will help diversify our economy and create good paying jobs for Albertans by supporting small businesses, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Now, we have the opportunity to truly show people what our own craft brewing industry, and our brews, are made of.”

The provincial government also announced a change in August to allow craft brewers to sell their products at some farmers’ and artisan markets in Alberta. In 2016, the government eliminated the time limit on happy hours and launched the Alberta Small Brewers Development Program to help small brewers grow their businesses.

According to the release, 19 per cent of beer sold in Alberta is made by small brewers in the province, and visitor spending on food and beverage accounts for 28 per cent of tourism expenditures.

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