Government brews up some tax breaks
Move aims to help grow craft brewing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador
It’s not quite buck-a-beer, but the province’s craft breweries are getting a tax break to support the “fast-growing” industry.
Finance Minister Tom Osborne announced the changes at Dildo Brewing Company on Monday.
Craft alcohol brewers will have to pay less to the province for the product they produce as part of the plan.
Previously, craft beer breweries would get a 33 per cent discount on their taxes for the first million litres — now, that’s been upped to 40 per cent. Similar changes from 33 per cent to 40 per cent discounts also apply to local wineries, distilleries and cider producers in the province.
The adjustments may look small, but Peter Wilkins of the Newfoundland Distillery in Clarke’s Beach says it’ll make a big difference to his business.
“The one that’s more exciting is that we will get a 17 per cent increase for our sales in our shop,” said Wilkins.
“Previously, we lost money on making sales in our shop. Now, we’ll have some incentive for people to buy it from our shop, which is great.”
Wilkins says the tax adjustments will allow his company to purchase new brewing equipment in the near future. He expects the new equipment will help the distillery triple its production in the coming months.
On the consumer side of things, Wilkins says there likely won’t be a decrease in price at the cash register. But he says customers will know more of their money is going towards small business.
Government will also allow “do-it-yourself” beer brewing and winemaking businesses in the province, with oversight from the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation.
Government is also planning to do a full review of the growing craft brewing industry in the province, along with an economic impact study, due in the fall of 2019.
“This is definitely what we need to help our industry grow and we look forward to working with them in the future,” said Justin Fong of the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company.
The industry has seen a boom in the last few years, with companies like Bootleg Brewing Company in Corner Brook, Scudrunner Brewing in Gander, and Split Rock Brewing in Twilingate opening to compliment established brewers like Quidi Vidi and YellowBelly Brewing in St. John’s.