New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A N.B. brewer is fed up with the ban on selling craft beer at farmers’ markets.

A New Brunswick brewer is fed up with the ban on selling craft beer.

Key takeaways:

  • When Anthony Maddalena realised he wouldn’t be able to sell craft beer at farmers’ markets in New Brunswick, he had to develop a unique solution.
  • The manager of the Sackville Farmers’ Market, Michael Freeman, says he’d like to allow craft brewers to sell their products at the market.

When Anthony Maddalena, owner of Bagtown Brewing in Sackville, N.B., learned that he couldn’t sell craft beer at farmers’ markets in New Brunswick, he had to develop a creative solution.

He sold empty growlers at the Sackville farmer’s market with a voucher that customers could use to fill the growler with beer at his brewery, which was only a few blocks away.

“At first, we thought promoting the brewery would be a great idea. “It turned out to be a pain,” he admitted.

Also read: N.B. has 126 new cases, bringing the total active cases to over 1,000

He’s since abandoned the logistically challenging solution. Instead, he’s decided to open the microbrewery early on Saturday mornings in the hopes of attracting market visitors.

The manager of the Sackville Farmers’ Market, Michael Freeman, says he’d like to allow craft brewers to sell their products at the market.

“Farmers’ markets exist to help start all of these small Mom and Pop businesses in our communities,” he explained. “It’s disappointing to see someone being excluded for legal reasons.”

Maddalena serves on the board of directors of the market.

N.B. brewer frustrated with prohibition against craft beer sales in farmers  markets
N.B. brewer frustrated with prohibition against craft beer sales in farmers’ markets, Image from MSN

Meanwhile, Sackville is only a short distance from the Nova Scotia border, where craft beer is readily available at farmers’ markets.

Maddalena cannot sell New Brunswick beer in Nova Scotia due to interprovincial legislation.

However, with 9.4 breweries per 100,000 drinking-age adults, New Brunswick has the most craft breweries per capita.

No plans to change the legislation in the province.

Only local wineries can currently sell their products in New Brunswick farmers’ markets.

Maddalena claims he has contacted the Department of Public Safety and NB Liquor on numerous occasions over the years but has never received a clear answer as to why this policy exists and how it could be changed.

A representative for NB Liquor said in a written statement to Global News on Friday afternoon that the crown corporation had “discussions with the Department of Public Safety regarding expanding the ability for NB local craft products to sell at a farmers’ market,” but that “there is no current plan for these changes.”

Source: Global News

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