My letter to my MPP, Kathleen Wynne and the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.
I recently read the story of Mark and Mandie at Left Field Brewery from Toronto, Ontario. I first heard about this brewery when they threw an open house for their community in their future brewery site. I finally got the chance to taste them at the Spring Sessions of the Toronto Festival of Beers. I love the beer festivals in this city because it’s a great way to celebrate these hard-workings brewers making great tasting beer. It’s also a chance to try something new, learn more about beer and be social. The brewers like these events because it’s a great way to get their product out to customers and a lot of these brewers on contract brewers, meaning they rent brew space in order to make their product. It’s an easier way for them to break in to the market without putting up the huge capital needed to open their own brewers.
Problem is, these contract brewers have just been informed by the AGCO that they are not allowed to sell anywhere that is operating under a special occasion permit, which is the majority of festivals and special events. As mentioned in their post, this is special events like YumCha and the very many BEER festivals that take place across the province every year. If this law had been enforced 6 months ago, I may never have found this or other breweries that I really enjoy. It was about 3 years ago that I started going to beer festivals in the city and I’ve noticed in that time more and more communities hosting their own events because craft beer is gaining popularity. This law means that these events will have less options and the brewers will have a lower chance of meeting new customers. Not only does this law not make sense, like many of our archaic liquor laws but it is going to hurt the industry and the local economy, for no good reason.
I was recently at an event and someone asked me how I got into craft beer, and my answer was simple, at first it had nothing to do with it being craft, it was because I wanted to buy local. I think it’s extremely important to support the local economy and these contract beers are a great way to support the growing craft beer scene in our vibrant city. This law is not only bad for beer, it’s bad for business.
If you also agree that this law is ridiculous and out of date, I urge you to share your opinion the MPP in your community, before and after the election and let them know that you want to see beer, from any brewer at your beer festivals.