A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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CowtownBrewster -

Here's a great article on the challenges inherent in the Alberta brewing industry and another about a change in tax policies that affect the mid-sized brewers .

The AGLC is in the process of possibly rewriting the Class E category, to make it more accessible for entrepreneurs; but it hasn't been properly changed in about 35 years (with the exception of the addition of the Class E Cottage Winery category).

To allow new, smaller breweries in Alberta, the AGLC will have to work harder to monitor and govern policies because of the increased number of breweries, but lower-volume producers don't pay as much in taxes. So for the Alberta industry to become more inviting to smaller breweries, the AGLC will get more drudgery for less commission. Not a great mix to encourage policy change.

For the record, there is a subclass in Class E for Brewpubs, which has no minimum production, just a 2HL minimum capacity for the vessels. But they are not allowed to distribute, and the beer produced can only be sold for direct-to-consumer off-sales and on-premises consumption. Obviously, the trade of the pub itself would dictate the volumes of beer that actually need to be brewed.

30 years ago, Alberta had a fraction of the population, and was the oil and gas workhorse of the country. The workers mostly drank beer that was cheap, because they didn't really care to pay for more complex beers. So when the manufacturer licenses were being written, the only producers in the province were big macro brewers; why bother including contingencies for smaller systems? The history of the prairie provinces is written in the legacy of their brewing policies.

It's not only Alberta that has antiquated brewing industry policies; it just happens to have a strong economy, and the young professionals with an inclination and financial ability to spend on more expensive craft brews. But yes, AB is a pretty tough nut to crack, when it comes to breweries.

Alan -

Excellent reportage. Pretty sure the licenses could have been updated at any point over the last 30 years but here are those brew pub rules. You do need to have a fifth of the capacity and weekly production. Why do they care what you produce in a week? Interesting that you cannot brew more than 10,000 hectolitres or about 200,000 pints.