Well, it seems like there are some things happening here in Manitoba in respect to Craft Beer.
For a long time we have been pretty behind when it comes to craft beer and breweries. We currently have three breweries in Manitoba. When you compare that to a small province like New Brunswick which is home to 7 that I can think of off the top of my head (likely more) it’s not really that great.
So, to have the government announce a “Craft Breweries Strategy” is a very promising step that when combined with the Growler system and the work being done on the Liquor laws here may result in some actual change and growth.
According to the press release the Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced the first step as the creation of an advisory committee which will be made of of the following people:
MANITOBA CRAFT BREWERIES STRATEGY INDUSTRY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
- Robert Holmberg, vice-president, liquor operations, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, and chair, Craft Brewery Industry Advisory Committee
- Jim Baker, president and CEO, Manitoba Hotel Association
- Noel Bernier, president and CEO, FB Hospitality
- Bill Gould, president, WETT Sales and Distribution Inc.
- Orest Horechko, general manager, Fort Garry Brewing Co.
- Scott Jocelyn, executive director, Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association
- Dwayne Marling, vice-president, Manitoba–Saskatchewan, Restaurants Canada
- David Rudge, brewmaster and president, Half Pints Brewing Company
- Darren R. Wanless, president, Wanless Geo-Point Solutions Inc.
- Lawrence Warwaruk, owner, Farmery Estate Brewery
- Kerry Wolfe, senior executive director, strategic gaming and liquor development, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries
Quite a number of people there who, I hope, will bring some good insight to the table.
At the very least this is a start. We are in a sorry state for craft brewing here in Manitoba in comparison to the rest of Canada and I am hoping that we will begin to see some change in the quality and quantity of craft brewers we have.
I want to finish by saying the breweries we do have are excellent. I’m always excited by their creativity and their willingness to put out special beers and try new things. I hope that Fort Garry, Half Pints and Farmery will continue to do this and will help grow, not stifle, the craft beer competition in this province.