Today the CCBA published an open letter to all Members of Parliament referencing the recent survey results from 317 craft breweries across Canada. The letter read:

To all Members of Parliament in Canada,

We present for your consideration the results of a survey conducted during the period April 15-April 21, 2020. From approximately 1,100 craft breweries and brewpubs in Canada we received 317 responses, giving our survey results a confidence level of 95% with a 5% margin of error. We received responses from all ten provinces and all three territories.

In the last 10 years, approximately 1,000 craft breweries and brewpubs have opened across the country. During that same timeframe, no other business sector that we know of has invested billions of dollars to establish new manufacturing facilities in hundreds of locations in every province and territory in Canada, many of them small communities.

Craft breweries provide the communities in which they do business, your communities, with more than good beer. They create new jobs and provide economic stimulation to the entire surrounding area. Craft breweries invest in their communities, and local residents adopt the brewery as their own.

Craft breweries are independently owned and operated by Canadians. When a patron spends money at a craft brewery, the money not only stays in Canada, it stays in the community.

However, most craft breweries in Canada are in trouble. Even before COVID-19, most were not yet profitable. Though overall revenues and market share continue to grow, the nature of a small manufacturing business is that it needs constant reinvestment, especially in the early years. What’s more, most craft beer businesses are actually three businesses: a manufacturing company, a licensed restaurant, and a retail store. For these reasons, the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to the Canadian craft beer community.

I’ve attached the results of our survey. The key points are as follows:

• 91% of craft breweries opened in 2010 or later, and 79% opened in 2015 or later
• 44% of breweries report a Y-Y revenue drop of over 50% in March, and 55% anticipate the same or worse in April
• 61% of breweries have cash reserves of 3 months or less
• 5% have closed temporarily; another 14% say they don’t know how much longer they can stay open
• 38% of craft breweries did not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in March
• 21% predict they will not qualify for CEWS in April, and another 32% are not sure yet
• 65% of all brewery employees have been laid off
• Of all laid-off employees, CEWS will be used to bring back 31% of them; the rest will stay unemployed
• 16% of craft breweries were involved in making hand sanitizer, primarily for use in their local community

As you and your staff work to support the businesses in your riding, please consider the contributions that craft breweries have made in your communities. Now they need your help.

We will keep you informed of our efforts in Ottawa to secure additional relief funding. We are asking that you support us so that your breweries can continue to deliver positive contributions to the economy and to the spirit of their communities, your communities.

Thank you,

Rick Dalmazzi
Executive Director
Canadian Craft Brewers Association

To see the full results of the survey, click here.