Beer battle brewing in Delta

Owner of a craft brewery on Annacis Island says provincial liquor board is pricing him out of business.

A Delta brewer says he won’t be able to market his product after the B.C. agency regulating liquor classified his ginger beer as a cooler.

As such, his profits for the brew will be much lower, says Delta’s Dennis Maynes of Maynestream Brewing.

Ginger beer has been around longer than this country, says Maynes, adding he feels it was an arbitrary decision to classify his brew as a cooler.

Ginger beer is made with water, sugar, ginger, citrus and spices.

Traditional beer usually contains malt and hops, which is why the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) says Maynes’ product can’t be classified as beer.

Under LDB rules, to be a beer, the product “shall be brewed in such a manner as to possess the aroma, taste and character commonly attributed to beer.”

The classification difference is hitting Maynes in the pocketbook.

As a beer classification, Maynes’ return per keg would be $136. But as a cooler, he’ll only get $94, barely enough, he says, to cover the cost of ingredients.

So for now, he’s halted production until he can sort the snafu out with the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB), which decided on the cooler classifications.

He’s also putting in an application to produce a pilsner to begin a revenue stream.

He also has partners that are examining options.

“They’re trying to understand it as well to see if we can pump up the price of our product and see if we can still make a profit,” Maynes said Friday.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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