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  • Stavros Karlos

This story will drive you to drink....

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Steven Sandor from Urban Affairs Edmonton has reported on the significant challenges being faced by the disitlling and beverage industries in Alberta.

Alberta's distilleries are part of a revolution in the provincial brewing and distilling industry. Despite the rapid growth in the number of distilleries, these are anything but get-rich-quick businesses, with many challenges that the industry faces as a whole, including industrial-level building requirements and taxes. Safety codes require distilleries to have blast proof walls that separate their production areas from their roughed-in bars, and the Alberta Craft Distillers Association (ACDA) is leading a charge for the province to simplify the regulatory and tax regime.

To address these challenges, some distilleries are branching out into ready-to-drink (RTD) "sparkling vodka" beverages, which bring cash flow up front, as they inject needed front-end money for distilleries. Yet even the RTD markets are taxed much higher than beer. If the Province of Alberta is interested in fostering the value-added agricultural producers in the beverage space we need rapid change or we will be crying in our whisky...

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