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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with Greek
13 October, 2023

Brewing news Canada: Per capita beer consumption in 2022 down by 25% versus 2008

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians drank 67.1 litres of beer per capita in 2022, which represents a 25 per cent decrease since 2008. While the number rose a bit during the pandemic, it’s been on the decline again every year since 2020, with last year alone falling 2.8 per cent. Despite consistently selling less beer overall, the craft beer sector continues to thrive, especially in B.C., BCIT News reported on October 12.

According to the Canadian Craft Brewers Association, nationally in Canada craft beer makes up 10 per cent of the beer market. In the United States, that number is up to 13.2 per cent. However, in British Columbia in 2022, that number is a staggering 30 per cent.

Christine Comeau, the executive director for the Canadian Craft Brewers Association, said that craft beers steady popularity was due to a difference in quality.

“Craft breweries focus on quality. So they focus on high quality beer, y’know they really emphasize taste, freshness, and premium ingredients. This commitment to quality can really win over any discerning beer enthusiast,” said Comeau.

Comeau said that another big reason for craft breweries success was the commitment to the community. “Often they’ll host sporting teams, or special interest groups, they’ll support local charities, and their strength in rural communities is especially strong, and for many communities they can become really the heart of the community,” said Comeau.

“B.C. has a stunning natural environment, and a culture that really does value locally sourced and crafted products, so I think it really aligns well with that sort of ethos of authenticity and locality,” Christine Comeau, executive director for the Canadian Craft Brewers Association, said.

Matt Legate, part owner of North Point Brewing, echoed the community sentiment. “We like to get weekly groups in here, y’know we got a mountain biking group, a hiking group, we have a knitting group, and we’re doing a special beer for the Ocean Film Festival that’s coming soon,” said Legate.

Legate also explained what it is about craft breweries that makes them so popular, despite being more expensive than domestic beer.

“It’s the community vibe that you don’t get at other places, and the taste. It’s a fun zone, and getting people coming in and connecting with each other over beer that’s brewed right here in the community. Good variety too, there’s a flavour or style for everyone,” said Legate.

So despite the fact that Canadian beer consumption has been on a steady decline, craft breweries are only continuing to grow. From 54 breweries in 2010, to almost 250 today, many British Columbians continue to integrate craft breweries into their culture and community.

“Just love getting the community out here. We like people coming here, and drinking our beer, and having a good time, so the more we can involve our community, the better it is for us as a business too,” Matt Legate, part owner of North Point Brewing, commented.

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