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

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

Vernon Pizza Huts raise dough for diabetes research

Vernon Pizza Hut locations raised more than $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

COLUMN: Trudeau trips his way towards election campaign

Glenn Mitchell thinks the drama teacher in Canada’s Prime Minister is coming through

Vernon sewer hook-up smells fishy

Okanagan Landing resident questions City of Vernon timing on counter-petition plan

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Most Read