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Concerns raised over Nova Scotia craft brew regulations

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Concerns raised over N.S. craft brew regulations
WATCH: Upstreet, a brewery that's well established in Prince Edward Island, is now expanding to nova scotia. But provincial regulations mean you won't be able to get the same beers here as you can in Charlottetown. Alicia Draus explains – Oct 12, 2018

A new brew pub has opened in Dartmouth.

Upstreet BBQ Brew House has taken over the former Downeast Beer Factory. While it’s new to Nova Scotia, Upstreet is already an established brewery in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

“I really like a lot of the stuff they’re making in P.E.I.,” said Kyle Andrus who co-hosts a podcast that focuses on craft breweries in Atlantic Canada, called 902 Brewcast.

But Andrus says he was disappointed to learn Upstreet’s Million Acres series likely will not be sold at the Nova Scotia store.

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“It’s a requirement through the NSLC manufacturing license, any of the retail beer has to be brewed on the premise or within Nova Scotia,” said Mike Hogan, co-founder of Upstreet.

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Their Nova Scotia brewery is about a quarter of the size as their Charlottetown location, and so they are limited in what they can make.

Hogan says the Million Acres series is barrel-aged beers and requires specific bottle conditions.

“They’re more expensive, more resource intensive to make,” he said.

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

For consumers, it’s frustrating.

“It just limits choice,” said Andrus. “There’s world class beers being made here, but there’s world class beers being made in other places that we don’t have access to.”

Upstreet will still be able to serve different beers in their restaurant portion, but take-home items sold in the retail store will be limited to what is brewed on site.

Andrus says it is disappointing that they can not have all the same products here in Nova Scotia but adds he does understand some of the reasoning behind the rules.

“It also protects local breweries that are here from a bigger brew with more resources just swooping in and taking over the market, and squeezing them out,” he said.

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