The province is allowing brewers whose full brewing process takes place in Ontario at their own brewery to sell their beer at farmers’ markets.
“Providing local brewers with the opportunity to join wineries, cideries and distillers in selling their products at farmers’ markets is another breakthrough for the many jobs and families that are supported by Ontario’s diverse alcohol manufacturing industry,” said Attorney General Doug Downey.
Licensed eligible brewers across the province can apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to occasionally extend their on-site stores to sell Ontario beer at farmers’ markets. There are more than 180 farmers’ markets in the province.
Scott Simmons, President of Ontario Craft Brewers, thanked the province for providing relief to the hard-hit sector.
“COVID-19 hit Ontario’s craft beer sector hard,” said Simmons. “Allowing the sale of craft beer at farmers’ markets has been a great next step in providing real choice for consumers, and more retail opportunities for locally-owned craft breweries at this critical time for our sector.”
Rocco Rossi, President of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, also welcomed the announcement which he believes will help grow operations.
“This announcement helps eliminate disparities at farmers’ markets, brings greater parity across all four categories of beverage alcohol, and creates a more competitive beverage alcohol landscape,” said Rossi. It also provides Ontario craft beer producers and breweries with access to a new sales channel, as well as the opportunity to reach new customers and grow their operations.”