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There’s something brewing in Alberta

Albertans drink a lot of beer – the third largest amount per capita among the provinces after Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec. Our beer consumption is not as high as some places around the world, but we are up there with beer-loving countries such as the UK and Brazil.

Alberta does not, however, brew as much beer within the province as you might expect given our love of the suds.

Statistics on the volume of beer produced by each province are not readily available, but we can compare the amount of GDP generated by each province’s breweries. As of 2016, Alberta breweries accounted for about seven per cent of the economic output of Canada’s breweries. This is less than our share of the national population which sits at just under 12 per cent.

Ontario, on the other hand, is home to 39 per cent of Canada’s population but its breweries account for 51 per cent of the sector’s economic output. The reason for this is the presence of a number of large brewing facilities in Ontario. Alberta only has one brewery with over 200 employees whereas Ontario has three with over 500 employees (Quebec has the other two breweries in Canada with over 500 employees).

Alberta may not be home to the mega-breweries they have in central Canada, but we are home to some of the best craft breweries in the world. These relatively small-scale operations have been growing in number over the last few years. According to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s database, there are currently 76 breweries and brewpubs with licenses to operate in Alberta compared to less than 20 only a few years ago.

This brewing renaissance in Alberta is a small business success story as well as an opportunity for both beer aficionados and Albertans in general to enjoy a much wider range of locally brewed beers.
ATB Financial