Helping Ontario’s Craft Breweries Grow their Businesses: Federal and Provincial Governments Help Brewers to Expand Operations

News release

June 10, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Marking Ontario Craft Beer Week, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $1 million in 20 projects that will help craft breweries in the province better market their products locally and internationally, expand their operations and contribute even more to the economy.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the federal and provincial governments are providing support for technology solutions and marketing plans that will help craft breweries to expand markets and grow their businesses.

Craft beer is a fast-expanding industry in the province. The Ontario Craft Brewers Association estimates the sector employs over 2,000 people in direct brewery jobs and thousands more in indirect jobs in industries such as tourism, food service, agriculture, and packaging and distribution, contributing over $1 billion towards Ontario's economy annually.

Since first being introduced to the market in 1984, locally brewed Ontario craft beer has steadily gained popularity to become one of LCBO’s fastest-growing categories. Currently, there are approximately 184 craft breweries selling their product via the LCBO network, which generated almost $120 million in sales last year.

This investment supports projects that include:

  • $2,275 for Shacklands Brewing Co. to complete a market research study and marketing plan.
  • $75,000 for Great Lakes Brewery to purchase and install a new centrifuge separator system to reduce waste and increase efficiency and production.
  • $148,750 for Amsterdam Brewing Co. Limited to invest in a wet grist milling system to help improve labour productivity and product quality while also reducing waste.

These investments are part of $417 million committed by the federal and provincial governments to support the agri-food and agri-products sectors in Ontario.


“Ontario’s craft breweries have consistently shown their ability to create and deliver premium craft beers and our Government is proud to support their continued innovation and growth. This investment will help them expand operations and develop new markets for their high quality products here at home and abroad.”
- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“Craft breweries are thriving in Ontario and this investment will help these companies expand their consumer base, hire more employees and continue to grow. Our government is committed to supporting Ontario’s craft breweries by expanding their market opportunities and improving customer convenience and choice by allowing them to sell their craft beers in retail stores across Ontario.”
- Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ontario Craft Beer Week. During that time our industry has grown to over 275 small independent breweries, but one thing has remained the same – our commitment to locally-made, high quality craft beer, using all natural ingredients. This week is a celebration of our thriving local industry and allows communities and consumers alike to experience the premium quality and culture of Ontario craft beer.”
- Scott Simmons, President of Ontario Craft Brewers

Quick facts

  • Ontario Craft Beer Week runs from June 8 to June 16, 2019.

  • The Ontario craft beer sector had over $120 million in sales at LCBO in 2018/19 — an increase of 11.7 per cent from the previous year.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.

  • Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support for more than 1,150 projects in Ontario to help eligible farmers, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.

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Associated links


Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Office of the Honourable Ernie Hardeman
Julian Neal

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Office of the Honourable Ernie Hardeman
Bianca Jamieson

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