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Ontario Craft Brewers raise a glass to local craft beer in farmers’ markets

The Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB), the voice of craft beer in Ontario, is raising a glass to the Ford government for allowing the sale of locally-made craft beer at farmers’ markets as part of its 2021 provincial budget; a move that will further support local jobs, and improve choice and convenience for craft beer lovers across the province. 

“This is a fantastic day for Ontario craft beer lovers and Ontario’s more than 300 locally-owned craft breweries,” said Scott Simmons, President, Ontario Craft Brewers. “Allowing the sale of locally-made craft beer at farmers’ markets across the province in today’s budget is a huge step in helping our sector recover from the pandemic, create more local jobs, and give people more ways to find and enjoy local craft beer. The OCB has long advocated for this change, and we applaud the Ford government for making it happen and for its continued actions to support Ontario’s craft beer sector and put consumers and craft beer lovers first.” 

Today’s announcement builds on other recent measures, such as freezing the provincial beer tax until 2022 to help keep beer prices affordable, removing restrictions on serving sizes offered at breweries, and expanding patio spaces that have been both a lifeline during the pandemic and made it easier for craft beer drinkers to enjoy their favourite craft beer. These changes, in turn, will go a long way to helping Ontario’s locally-owned craft breweries succeed, and continue to drive economic growth across the province. 

Before the pandemic, Ontario’s craft beer industry was the fastest-growing segment of Ontario’s manufacturing sector over the past decade. employing over 4,600 people with quality, local jobs across Ontario, especially in rural communities – over 80 per cent of the direct brewing jobs in the province and helped generate over 9,000 additional indirect jobs. All told, Ontario’s craft beer sector generates $2 billion in economic growth each year and today’s changes are another step in helping them further grow and succeed. 

“The OCB sincerely thanks the Ford government for its tireless work to support Ontario’s craft beer sector throughout the pandemic and allowing the sale of craft beer at farmers’ market is a great way to provide real choice for consumers, and more retail opportunities for local craft brewers,” concluded Simmons. “We are raising a glass to them for making this long overdue change; one that reflects the local nature of craft beer and helps local craft breweries succeed, which is good for consumers, good for our communities, and good for our economy.”