Baysville, Ontario – Lake of Bays Brewing have announced that as of today, they have officially wound up their operations in Alberta, in response to the dramatic tax hike on out-of-province craft beer announced in October 2015.
As a mid-sized craft brewery located outside of the so-called New West Partnership area, our tax rate on beer sold within Alberta jumped overnight from between $0.10 and $0.20 per litre, to $1.25 per litre, on October 28 of last year. We had no advance warning of the increase, the effect of which was an immediate spike in the price of our beer to Alberta wholesale customers and consumers.
Prior to the increase, we had been experiencing significant sales growth in Alberta, and had hired two sales reps in the province to help expand our distribution footprint. Not wanting to give up, we attempted to soldier on for a few more months, but found that the added tax burden was simply too much to bear.
As such, we have spent the past two months liquidating our remaining inventory in Alberta. With this process now complete, we have unfortunately had to lay off both of our employees in the province and suspend our Alberta operations until a more equitable tax regime can be re-established.
We’d like to thank all our customers in Alberta for their support, and we look forward to providing you with delicious craft beer once again in the future.