Due to the Alberta government’s recent decision to increase the tax rate for craft brewers outside of the New West Partnership (Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan), Muskoka, Ont.-based Muskoka Brewery has made the decision to wind down operations in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan by the end of 2015.
According to a Muskoka Brewery media release, the company believes the tax increase has created unacceptable conditions for all craft brewers that operate outside of the New West Partnership and wish to sell beer in Alberta.
“We have remarkable customer support and sales momentum in these markets,” says Gary McMullen, president and founder of Muskoka Brewery. “Up until this new legislation was announced, we had no intention of leaving. In fact, we had plans to widen our footprint based on the growing demand for our beers. We’re sorry to leave our friends and supporters, but with this new tax increase it’s now unsustainable to sell our beer in these provinces.”
The company’s media release asserts that Muskoka Brewery has always strived to foster a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among all craft brewers. “We are fully committed to continuing to grow the true Canadian craft beer industry, and we will work closely with like-minded craft brewers to get these protectionist measures rolled back. We can’t allow this setback to divide the Canadian craft brewing community,” says McMullen.
“We’d like to sincerely thank our customers for their support and passion for us, and we’ll be back when these trade barriers are squashed,” he adds.