The market for beer in Canada is, if you'll excuse the expression, in a ferment.
Canadian beer consumption has declined over the last decade, according to Statistics Canada data, in favour of wine. But the bright spot is the continuing surge of interest in so-called craft beers (aka micro brews) produced in small batches mostly by local independent breweries.
From being largely non-existent in the 1980s, craft beer now takes up an estimated six per cent of the Canadian market. Its growth has come at the cost of established domestic brands sold by the country's three beer giants, who account for close to 90 per cent of beer sales.
The phenomenon is most noticeable in British Columbia, Canada's craft-beer hotbed, where recent figures from the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch show small-volume breweries (15,000 hectolitres or less) saw year-over-year sales increases of more than 37 per cent between June 2013 and June 2014 while the bigger domestic breweries were essentially flat.
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