This week, Red Deer will host the 2017 Alberta Craft Brewing Convention. And judging by the number of new entrants into the market, they’ll have a big turn-out at the event. Craft breweries have been sprouting up across the province over the last few years.
The chart below shows how, from one humble craft brewery in Alberta in 1984 (Big Rock), the industry has exploded in size. Mostly due to a change in legislation governing the craft brewing industry, there are now 58 active breweries in Alberta. Many of them are micro-operations, brewing up niche products in small amounts. Others, such as Big Rock, Alley Cat and Village Brewery, are larger size—and they’re going head-to-head in competition with the traditional, large national brands.
Craft breweries are an important piece of the economic puzzle for Alberta. Not only do they represent a nice piece of economic diversity within the agriculture and agri-food sector (which has remained a pillar of economic growth throughout the recession). But they also add an important element for the tourism industry. A plethora of craft breweries has helped put other cities on the tourism map, such as Portland, Oregon. As Alberta’s craft breweries continue to grow in number, it adds to the variety of activities for visitors to enjoy while they are here.
In 2017, local products are sought after. Our locally crafted beers are a true economic success story that’s being celebrated in every corner of our province. To which The Owl says... Cheers!