Economy

Posted June 15, 2013

Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment cuts OCB Week ribbon


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Cam Heaps, Steam Whistle; John Hay, OCB; Dr. Eric Hoskins; Steve Abrams, Mill St.

The Ontario Craft Brewers officially kicked off the fourth annual Ontario Craft Beer Week yesterday, Friday, June 14, at The Beer Hall in Toronto’s Distillery District, with guest of honour, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.

Introductions were led by Steve Abrams, Mill Street Brewery co-founder and OCB Week co-chair, and Steam Whilstle Brewery’s co-founder, Cam Heaps.

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“Ontario Craft Brewers have experienced amazing success and growth over the past decade,” says Abrams. “Since 2002, Ontario Craft Brewers have created close to 500 direct brewery jobs, going from 400, to close to 900 in 2012. Another four to five hundred jobs are being created in pubs such as Mill Street and Amsterdam.”

“There is no doubt that Ontario Craft Brewing is stimulating economic development and employment in our province,” says Heaps. “Virtually all of the jobs that have been created in Ontario since 1985 have been created by Craft Brewers.”

The Minister then addressed the crowd, “Ontario’s craft brewing industry is a fast-growing industry, helping to grow our economy and create jobs while making a top-quality product. As our province’s craft brewers continue to receive international attention for the work they do, Ontarians across the province are proud of their talented local brewers and our government is proud to support them.”

Dr. Hoskins added that, through the Ontario Microbrewery Strategy, craft brewers in Ontario now employ over 650 people directly, with craft beer sales edging out all other sales at the LCBO in 2012, with a near 45% growth in sales.

Dr. Hoskins then poured the inaugural OCB Week pint, the Pan Ontario collaboration brewed at Vankleek Hill’s Beau’s All Natural Brewing, which mashes brews from Beau’s, Flying Monkeys, Great Lakes, Amsterdam, and Wellington, in a complex, barrel-aged creation. Pan Ontario will be available through Beau’s starting during OCB Week.

OCB Week runs from Sunday, June 16 to Sunday, June 23 featuring 400+ beer-inspired opportunities in 40 Ontario communities.

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