Nova Scotia to drop controversial markup fee on sales by craft brewers

HALIFAX _ The Nova Scotia government says it will change a controversial markup fee applied to the province’s craft breweries by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp.

Premier Stephen McNeil says beginning April 1 the $0.50 per litre Retail Sales Markup Allocation on craft beer will be changed to five per cent of wholesale costs of sales made directly by brewers.

While the craft sector will pay close to $1.2 million in the current fiscal year, the province says the change will reduce the amount paid by brewers by about $800,000 a year.

The province says the move ensures craft brewers will be treated the same as local wineries and craft distillers.

Emily Tipton, president of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, says the change will see growth in a province that already has the most craft breweries per capita in Canada.

A Halifax brewery, Unfiltered Brewing Inc., filed a lawsuit in August in an bid to get the liquor corporation to scrap the fee.