Hats off to the smart folks in Ontario. Our Canadian neighbors are putting their money where their microbrews are with the announcement of the extension of the Ontario Microbrewery Strategy for two more years.
Through the Ontario Microbrewery Strategy, the province is helping small brewers explore new marketing, training and tourism development opportunities. Craft beer is a growing and important industry in Ontario, employing more than 650 people in direct brewery jobs at 47 microbreweries. Support through Ontario’s Microbrewery Strategy also helps create indirect jobs in Ontario’s agriculture and hospitality sectors. Providing the right climate to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy is part of the new Ontario government’s plan to build a prosperous and fair province.
Here are some quick facts on the Ontario Microbrewery Strategy:
- The province is renewing the Ontario Microbrewery Strategy for $1.2 million in annual funding from 2014–2016.
- The Ontario Craft Brewers help implement the microbrewery strategy by working to raise awareness of locally-made lagers, ales, pilsners, porters and stouts.
- Ontario’s craft brewers are the largest purchaser of Ontario-grown hops.
- In 2012, Niagara College offered Canada’s first Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program — everyone in the first graduating class got industry jobs.
- Ontario craft brewers produce over 140 international beer styles and have won hundreds of medals in major national and international competitions.
- In 2012, Ontario’s craft beers led LCBO sales in all categories, including wine and spirits, with nearly 45 percent sales growth.