'Raising a glass': Ontario to allow local brewers to sell at farmers' markets
The Ontario government is now allowing eligible local brewers to sell their beer at farmers' markets.
Officials made the announcement at St. Jacobs Farmers' Market on Friday.
The move is aimed at supporting jobs in the province's hospitality and agriculture sectors, the province said in a release.
"Our government is committed to supporting job growth in communities across Ontario by standing up for our vibrant hospitality, alcohol and agriculture sectors,” Attorney General Doug Downey said in a release. “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.”
Licensed eligible brewers can apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to occasionally extend their on-site stores to sell Ontario beer at farmers' markets.
Only brewers whose full brewing process takes place in Ontario and at their own brewery are permitted to sell at farmers' markets.
"Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, local brewers, distillers were thriving, now people are looking at recover, growing forward, and building on," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, at the market.
The government said the updated policy is part of a series of initiatives to support brewers, winemakers and distillers in Ontario.
"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," Scott Simmons, president of Ontario Craft Brewers, said in a release. "It has truly been a win-win for craft beer lovers and locally-owned craft breweries alike and we are raising a glass to this important change which has been good for local jobs, good for consumers, and good for our communities."