No more beer shortages? Bigger tax breaks could mean boosts for craft producers

Posted : 11/28/2018

CBC News
November 26, 2018

The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced new tax breaks Monday for craft beverage producers, saying it is committed to making business easier for the growing industry.

Until now, there was no tax break for craft brewers or distillers for product sold at their own facilities. Now, they'll have a 50 per cent tax break up to a certain amount of litres sold.

For breweries, that number is 250,000 litres. They'll also see a small increase on the tax break on products sold at Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) stores.

"It's definitely positive news," said Justin Fong, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Brewing Association and sales and marketing lead with Quidi Vidi Brewery.

"We've got a very difficult taxation in Newfoundland, where we're still the worst in Canada by over three times. It's been hard for our industry to really grow. All the breweries that have opened up are sold out of beer all the time."

Fong said the move frees up capital for breweries to expand.

The province is home to 12 craft beer producers, with two others opening just next week and 10 more slated to begin brewing in 2019.

An economic impact study will also come out next year, Fong said. He expects it to point to more growth in support industries such as tourism, meaning gas stations, hotels and restaurants will also benefit.

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