What If Ontario Had a Craft Beer Revolution?

What a wonderful thought posed by Steve Beauchesne, co-founder of Beau’s All Natural Brewing. Steve was asked to speak at the Toronto Festival of Beer, but was unable to deliver his though provoking, and mouth watering speech. He did however post it on the Beaus Blog. If you like beer, and have any interest in the Ontario Craft Beer Market this is the most important read of 2010. I am going to give you the link again, go read Steve’s post, it is amazing stuff.

The whole idea is that Craft Beer is an under represented segment in the beer market here, but if given the opportunity to shine would revitalize the entire economy, all of our lives, and show people the true meaning of beer. Steve puts it so well, here are some excerpts from his explanation:

“Right now in Ontario, 1 out of every 20 beers drunk came from an independent, Ontario brewery. By beer revolution, I mean, what would happen if Ontarians chose to drink an Ontario-made independent beer 1 out of every 2 times they drank beer? Canadians drink about 85 litres of beer every year, which means in Ontario, about 800 million litres of beer are drunk each year. That means that after the beer revolution, Ontario brewers will have grown from selling about 40 million litres of beer to 400 million litres. “

“The Beer Store currently boasts 350 brands from 90 breweries (note 4), the LCBO claims 341 (note 5). Think of how much more choice there would be if Ontario alone had 1,400 brands from 350 brewers – and that was still only half of the beer drunk! Think of what the Toronto Festival of Beer would look like…It would be heaven on Earth.”

“If independent breweries were producing 50% of the beer drunk in Ontario, they would create 5,400 new direct brewing jobs! The other breweries would lose around 1,136 (most of whom would end up working for a local brewery) for a net increase of almost 4,300 new jobs in Ontario. But, that is only the tip of the economic iceberg; if independent breweries produced 50% of the Ontario market share, think of the economic spin-off that would create. The creation of 315 new breweries in Ontario would send ripples to so many facets of life in Ontario, it would be unfathomable…”

“The tradespeople required to install all this new equipment, the marketing, apparel and promotional companies, the printing houses, box makers, and raw material suppliers. Whole new industries would be created or revived. Did you know Eastern Ontario used to have a thriving hop industry? Equipment manufacturers, raw material suppliers and bottle manufacturing plants would choose to locate in Ontario and a whole manufacturing cluster would be created. Ontario’s tourism sector would explode. With 350 breweries, Ontario would be a beer connoisseurs dream, a North American Belgium or Germany. The Agritourism sector would come to life as cheesemakers, restaurateurs and other food producers rose to the challenge of pairing these 3,400 brands of beer with just the right nibble to perfectly accentuate it.”

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