When it comes to alcohol, consumers in Nova Scotia are choosing to buy local more than ever before.
Across the board increases in sales of local spirits, beers, ciders, and wine have helped the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission grow their net income between April of last year and the end of March this year.
Nova Scotia wine saw a spike of 8.7 per cent and total sales of over $9 million. Craft beer continues to grow in popularity, to the tune of more than 25 per cent, raking in $7.6 million in sales.
“Basically right now we're making it as quickly as we can,” says Brian MacDonald, co-owner of Breton Brewery. “We're trying to satisfy the needs of Nova Scotians, so our product doesn't have the chance to sit long.”
MacDonald says there's no question why craft beer is so popular.
“All of the ingredients are fresh, we don't use any preservatives. Most breweries don't filter their beer as well, so it's just the different experience and it's not travelling as far as well,” says MacDonald.
The relatively small amount of spirits made in the province is also in high demand. NSLC’s year end results showed an increase of 177 per cent. While the makers of ready to drink products, mostly ciders, benefitted from a 44 per cent hike.
“It reflects a changing demographic. We have people that are more willing to try different products,” says Sacha Smith, marketing manager for Bulwark Ciders.
Bulwark Ciders launched four years ago and is always looking for new ways to attract customers.
“We continue to introduce new products to create interest among consumers and to maintain that interest,” says Smith. “We just launched a season cider. We have an eight pack of mixed cider.”
While the numbers represent profits made by the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission, it's also important to note that the sales don't represent the overall profits made by individual beer, cider and wine companies.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore