Thursday, April 14, 2016

NB Liquor brings in range of new policies

(Fredericton, NB) - NB Liquor (ANBL) has brought in new policies on April 1st relating to the regulation of craft beer producers. One of them is a new tiered cost system that changes the amount a brewery pays based on how much beer it produces. For each keg sold by small scale producers it changes from 73 cents per litre to $1.05 per litre and to $1.75 per litre for the larger craft beer producers. The brewers producing less than 49,900 litres don't pay per litre for sales. The brewers making less than 49,900 litres don't pay per litre for their sales.

Additional changes are:
  • The elimination of the requirement for a brewer to open their retail outlet a minimum number of hours.
  • Brewers who produce over 2,500,00 litres can now sell other NB breweries beers in their stores. This means Picaroons and Pump House are the only ones that can. 
  • The number of stores a brewer can operate changes with a maximum of four if the brewer sells between 1,000,000 and 2,499,900 litres of beer a year.
Some of these changes look decent others not so much. It seems strange to me one organization almost completely control your sales, distribution, production and regulation. I am not implying any wrong doing but their mission is to create a profit and may cloud other decisions. Nova Scotia recently move regulation from the NSLC to an agency to separate the monopoly's powers, this is a step in the right direction

CBC News interviewed Stephen Dixon, the president of the New Brunswick Craft Alcohol Producers Association (NBCAPA) who said there was some good in it but most of it not. The major problem is as breweries become more successful and grow they are taxed more heavily and their ability to add stores is limited. Rather than growing profits to reinvest in new equipment and new jobs it will be increasingly eaten up by taxes.

If the Government of New Brunswick is serious about job creation and not stalling out progress made in the craft brewing and spin-offs it should have a serious look at what is happening.