New Market for local microbrewery

Barkerville Brewing interested in shelf room in B.C. Liquor Stores

Top to bottom: Barkerville Brewing Co. general manager Justine Whittingham; North Cariboo MLA and Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch Coralee Oakes; and CRD director Ted Armstrong show off some of the product that will be in B.C. Liquor Stores soon.

Barkerville Brewing Co. is interested in selling its craft beer at the local B.C. Liquor Store as part of B.C. Liquor Stores’ new policy to accept applications for non-listed products from each store’s six closest community craft breweries.

B.C. Liquor Stores announced a plan to put local small-scale brewery products ( breweries producing 15,000 hectolitres or less annually) – brews not listed for sale with the major liquor retailer – on their shelves, in an effort to help meet the demand of customers interested in supporting their local manufacturers.

To help promote the initiative, Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes toured Barkerville Brewing Co. – Quesnel’s first small-scale craft brewery – to celebrate the success of a northern B.C. start-up that’s staking its claim in the craft brewing industry.

“Buying local products and celebrating our local small businesses is such an important piece of the economic puzzle in this day and age,” Oakes, who is also Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, said.

“The craft beer industry is thriving – growing at an unprecedented rate – and I want to help ensure its growth continues. I will work to help this industry be successful, and, I am confident craft brewers across B.C. will continue to grow, create new jobs and enjoy continued success in the industry.”

“We are happy anytime attention is brought to the craft brewing industry. Microbreweries represent their communities by engaging and educating people about the process and quality of craft beer,” Barkerville Brewing Co. general manager Justine Wittingham said.

“This has truly become a sub culture that shows no signs of slowing down and we are happy to see the BCLDB recognize that.”

The original Barkerville Brewery, built in the 1860s, was located in the town of Barkerville, more than 80 kilometres away from its current location. Unfortunately, the brewery burned down, along with the rest of the town, in the great fire of 1868.

From their award winning 18 Karat Amber Ale to their Wandering Camel IPA – made with ingredients sourced mostly from B.C. – Barkerville Brewing has taken the stories of lore and transformed them into the tastes of today. Offering their products by the bottle, can, growler or key, Barkerville Brewing is supporting a niche market in northern B.C., supplying unique, craft beer products.

There are currently 102 microbreweries in B.C. eligible for this new program. In 2011, there were 57 – the number has almost doubled in the past five years.

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