In an interestingly timed announcement, the McGuinty government sent around a press release Saturday entitled “Ontario Microbreweries Thriving”. Yippee, the government figured it out. Could this perhaps have something to do with the Liberals rejecting the sale of beer in convenience stores early last week and the Conservatives vaguely suggesting they’d be “open” to it (i.e. would also reject it, but suggesting otherwise)?
Well, here’s what the liberal have to say:
- The number of craft breweries in Ontario has increased to 47 from 31 in 2005.
- Sales of Ontario craft beer reached approximately $190 million in 2010, representing a five per cent share of the Ontario beer market.
- In 2011, Ontario’s craft beers led LCBO sales in all categories, including wine and spirits — with nearly 45 per cent sales growth.
- Ontario’s craft breweries won 19 awards at the 2012 Canadian Brewing Awards.
And apparently this is attributable to the economic climate and support from the McGuinty liberals who have been in power since 2003. Well… you can’t blame them for anything. Things definitely have grown since 2003, and while I think it has a lot more to do with supply and demand, there certainly has been support from the government – including an $8 million dollar craft beer fund….the one that the government recently chose not to renew.
I’m not saying NDP or Conservatives would do better. In fact, I’d be interested to hear the brewer’s perspective on how the Liberal have done. However, this press release, quoting a few stale facts, is a pretty transparent move and provides neither new statistics or programs – you know, the types of things that merit an announcement. I’m surprised they didn’t announce that Ontario beers won ALMOST ALL of the awards at the Ontario Brewing Awards! But, I guess the recongition of Craft Brewers’ success and contributions is always a good thing.