February 13, 2014 11:10 am

Saskatoon craft beer makers buzzing over regulation tweaks

Proposed food and drug regulation tweaks announced in federal budget have Saskatoon craft beer makers buzzing

Brent McGillvray / Global News

SASKATOON – A number of proposed changes to federal food and drug regulations have created a buzz among Saskatoon craft beer makers.

In Tuesday’s budget, the federal government outlined a number of tweaks to the regulations which will allow for more innovative and experimental beers.

Red tape will be removed on ingredients like nutmeg that before may have called into question whether the beverage should still be considered a “beer.”

Local brewers are encouraged by the news and say it opens the door to allow more creativity with brewing.

However, some are cautioning there could be drawbacks.

“If they want to use this as a way of reducing or not using malt barley at all, which I could see them doing, then it could be a step backwards,” said Paddock Wood Brewing CEO Stephen Cavan.

“Many American beers don’t have barley. Bud Light in the U.S. is just rice and corn, in Canada, there was a minimum of 30 per cent (barley), so if the big breweries want to get rid of that it could be a step back for good beer.”

This is the first step of many outlined in the budget to modernize the composition standards of other foods and beverages.

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