File photo A view of Left Fields Farm near Sorrento, which is home to Crannog Ales, Canada’s first certified organic farmhouse microbrewery. A view of Left Fields Farm near Sorrento, which is home to Crannog Ales, Canada’s first certified organic farmhouse microbrewery.-Image credit: File photo

Brewery owner has concerns about new liquor rules

Crannog Ales owner concerned about possible industrial sprawl

Crannog Ales owner Brian MacIsaac is hopeful but not yet ready to lift a tankard in celebration.

Changes the previous Liberal government made to regulations governing the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) put Canada’s first certified organic farmhouse microbrewery in jeopardy.

Related link: Concern brewing over ALC changes

A Nov. 9 Ministry of Agriculture media release maintains a change in regulations has all alcohol producers in the ALR operating under the same rules, levelling the playing field for British Columbia brewers, mead makers and distillers.

“The updated regulation enables all alcohol producers to operate within the ALR, providing they source at least 50 per cent of the primary farm product used in their alcohol (e.g., grapes for wine, barley for beer, honey for mead) from their own and other B.C. farms,” reads the release. “We have heard loud and clear from local governments, the BC Chamber of Commerce and industry that these changes were needed to make things fair and equitable, and to support opportunities for economic growth in our province’s agricultural sector,” said Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham.

The change amends a 2015 regulation that created different rules for wineries and cideries than other alcohol producers, and led to calls for policy change from the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and the Craft Distillers Guild of British Columbia.

Minor amendments made to the agricultural land reserve and subdivision regulation now require breweries, distilleries, meaderies, wineries and cideries operating in the ALR to either (a) produce at least 50 per cent of the primary farm product used to make the alcohol on the farm where the production facility is located; or (b) if the farm on which the facility is located is at least two hectares in area, produce at least 50 per cent of the farm product on that farm and/or under a three-year minimum term contract with another B.C. farm. Businesses that do not meet the regulation’s requirements can still submit an application to the Agricultural Land Commission for consideration.

Related Link: Craft brewery owners question ALC rule changes

MacIsaac is concerned the new regulations may lead to some not-so-welcome changes such as opportunities for industrial sprawl.

“My concern is about making sure light industry on any ALR property would take up the smallest of percentages, including infrastructure such as pavement,” he says, noting he wants to make sure rules are stronger and “make more sense.”

Set on a 10-acre farm, MacIsaac says the reason Crannog Ales does not operate a lounge is because it would require more less-impermeable structures such as paved driveways, septic fields, etc.

“It’s fine if you have a small building, but it can keep on growing to what I call industrial sprawl,” he says. “Instead of having a farm with a brewery, you have a brewery with a small farm view.”

While expressing confidence in the NDP government, MacIsaac says he would like to return to an older system in which local government has a key role instead of the current larger, centralized approach.


@SalmonArm
barbbrouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Heavy equipment might be culprit in Tappen mill fire

Fire spotted about 7 p.m. on July 13, extinguished five hours later through coordinated effort

Extreme fire danger in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The fire danger rating hits extreme or high in areas of the Okanagan- Shuswap

Further mediated talked scheduled in casino strike

Gateway and BCGEU schedule talks for July 20-22

Money available for events in Salmon Arm’s Marine Park

Downtown Salmon Arm and partners offer new Fun in the Park grant

Traffic on Highway 1 between Sicamous and Revelstoke moving again

Accident 10 kilometres east of Craigellachie closes Trans-Canada Highway Sunday evening

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Indigenous housing providers worried Liberal proposals could put families on the streets

Indigenous housing providers raise alarms about future of federal funding deals

Incredible sight in Okanagan night sky

Vernon resident Martin Impey caputure the new moon in conjunction with the planet Venus

B.C. baseball team offers funeral prize pack

Wednesday’s West Coast League game in Victoria features draw for end-of-life package

Most Read