July 15, 2016 1:12 pm
Updated: July 15, 2016 9:00 pm

Beer taprooms in Manitoba open as provincial liquor laws relaxed

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WINNIPEG — Independent craft brewers and beer aficionados are raising a glass and toasting changes to Manitoba’s liquor laws. Supporters say they will help the craft brewery industry in the province flourish.

Brewpubs – restaurants serving a combination of food and beer – have been in Winnipeg for over a decade. But for the first time, breweries will now be able to serve samples of their product on the same site in which it was brewed, called taprooms.

The taproom areas are usually next to the production sites and are common in other provinces and states in the U.S.

Two taprooms in Winnipeg have already opened in recent months, including Peg Beer Co. in the Exhcange District and Barn Hammer Brewing Company at 595 Wall St.

RELATED: Modernized liquor laws come to Manitoba

David Rudge, brewmaster and owner of Half Pints Brewing Co., said the push for taprooms began in fall 2014, after the province introduced for growlers to be filled at Manitoba Liquor Marts.

“All the breweries get along, we collaborate, we share information and its all about growing craft beer in Manitoba,” Rudge said.

New players on the Manitoba beer craft scene are certainly taking notice. Rudge said another 10 breweries across the province are planning to create taprooms of their own as the landscape of the industry begins to change.

Back in 2014, Dave Chomiak, the then-minister responsible for liquor and gaming, committed to establishing a committee and strategy to help grow the craft brewing industry, which included looking into the possibility of taprooms.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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