Barley Mowat 

BC Breweries by Production 2014

with 6 comments

Ever wonder how big the breweries in BC really are? We all like to talk a good talk about huge year over year growth, but how fast are our favourite brands getting big?

Sadly, no one really talks size or growth, as most breweries are privately owned and not required to share any of those embarrassing financial tidbits. Luckily for us, the LDB is required to post their annual finances, and since all beer in BC must first be sold to the LDB this report acts as a sort of proxy for brewery size.

Below I’ve tabulated the 2014 financials for each brewery that I can identify in the report, along with their 2013 numbers, and an approximate guess for beer production in hectolitres. Previously I’d used numbers ranging from $375 to $450 per hectolitre calculation, but this year I changed it up and went with $300. This is primarily because this year I learnt a bit more about how breweries are taxed, and that these financial statements are post-tax.

The degree to which these hectolitre calculations should be trusted is reflected by how easily I just changed them out: don’t trust them. These are very approximate numbers only, and should only be used for rough relative comparisons. A major brewery like Pacific Western will be lower, and a brewery that solely sells draught and growler products like Brassneck might be higher.

All columns are sortable. Just click.

Some tidbits:

  • For the first time, several breweries appear to be in serious trouble. Tin Whistle, Wolf, Craig Street, and R&B are all hurting big time. If this keeps up, expect some cheap equipment to go up for sale soon.
  • Mid-sizes breweries are broadly down as a trend. Russell, Big Rock, Granville Island, OK Spring, etc are all hurting.
  • HUGE years for Hoyne, Driftwood, Parallel 49 and Central City, but especially Hoyne. Great work, Sean!
  • The shift in strategy for some of the smaller breweries is evident: Longwood, Moon Under Water and Spinnakers bottling efforts are definitely paying dividends.
  • Pacific Western was doing great up until this year. They’re somewhat up market from Molson, so I figured that was due to adventurous drinkers trying something different. Their ~10% drop this year is likely due to adventurous drinks moving down the shelf a bit more to actual good beer.
  • Holy shit. Check out Brassneck’s numbers, and then realize they weren’t even open for HALF OF THE PERIOD OF THIS REPORT. Wowza.
  • I included Big Rock here, too. They’re building a brewery in Vancouver so, uh, welcome to BC guys.
  • The various Mark James properties have been broken out individually. I think this has something to do with Red Truck’s massive production capacity increase and taxes.

Disclaimers (repeated from 2013):

  • Because of the craziness of shadow brands and contract brewing, it’s hard to split out some of these numbers. OK Spring, in particular, also produces Sleeman locally, and those sales are blended in.
  • Some breweries are missing, including Coal Harbour and others. I have no idea why. They are likely running under either a numbered company or a name I don’t recognize.
  • I have excluded Labatt’s (Kokanee) simply because it would be impossible to separate out beer produced in-province from imports.
  • Likewise, I have skipped Mark Anthony Group (Turning Point/Stanley Park) because most of their money comes from wine (Mission Hill)

Click headers to sort

Brewery 2013 Income 2014 Income alias/aka 2014 Production (hl) Growth
Sleeman Breweries Ltd 100826104 97421073 Sleeman / OK Spring 324736 -3.4%
Pacific Western Brewing Company 37038122 33563099 111876 -9.4%
Granville Island Brewing Company 23597424 22831746 76105 -3.2%
Phillips Brewing Co 14527143 17209987 57366 18.5%
Northam Brewery Lp 12412210 14093947 Whistler / Bowen 46979 13.5%
Vancouver Island Brewing Company 8663020 8082863 26942 -6.7%
Driftwood Brewing 4049056 5843817 19479 44.3%
Big Rock Brewery Inc 6487218 5349530 17831 -17.5%
Fireweed Brewing Corp 5391621 5328876 Tree 17762 -1.2%
Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc 5156097 4962174 16540 -3.8%
Parallel 49 Brewing Company Ltd 1452960 4699953 15666 223.5%
Central City Brewing Co 2717936 4043560 13478 48.8%
Russell Brewing Co Limited 4162692 3917373 13057 -5.9%
Allen Brands Inc 2212115 2926208 Big Surf / Prohibition 9754 32.3%
Howe Sound Brewing 2371393 2560623 8535 8.0%
Nelson Brewing Company 2444327 2405093 8016 -1.6%
Hoyne Brewing Company Ltd 1204082 2384445 7948 98.0%
Dead Frog Brewery 1893880 2065463 6884 9.1%
Mt Begbie Brewing Company Limited 1701101 1874282 6247 10.2%
Fernie Brewing Co 1468056 1670146 5567 13.8%
Cannery Brewing Co 1391236 1338593 4461 -3.8%
R&B Brewing Inc 1218933 1047154 3490 -14.1%
Tuff City Brewing Ltd 532850 956717 Tofino 3189 79.5%
Townsite Brewing Inc. 561253 799821 2666 42.5%
Steamworks Brewing Company Ltd 788268 2627 100%
Gulf Islands Brewery Limited 494823 656752 2189 32.7%
Spinnakers Brew Pub Inc 386987 611865 2039 58.1%
Salsbury Drive Holdings Ltd 514694 Brassneck 1715 100%
Longwood Brew Pub Limited 250872 495047 1650 97.3%
Crannog Ales Limited 367742 399852 1332 8.7%
Four Winds Brewing Company Ltd 365473 1218 100%
Bridge Brewing Corp 58606 354781 1182 505.4%
33 Acres Brewing Company Inc 341586 1138 100%
Storm Brewing Limited 353287 336433 1121 -4.8%
Moon Under Water Brewery Ltd 97534 310847 1036 218.7%
Arrowhead Brewing Company 69882 301396 1004 331.3%
Old Yale Brewing Co Limited 178992 248412 828 38.8%
Persephone Brewing Company Inc 247804 826 100%
Powell Street Craft Brewery Inc 137405 458 100%
Mission Springs Developements Limited 39391 114057 380 189.6%
Tin Whistle Brewing Co 449938 100515 335 -77.7%
Wolf Brewing Company 200198 100045 333 -50.0%
Big River Brewing Company 46422 76883 256 65.6%
Bomber Brewing Corporation 69503 231 100%
Deep Cove Brewers And Distillers Inc 68699 228 100%
Green Leaf Brewing Corporation 66654 222 100%
Shuswap Lake Brewing Company 52840 62931 Barley Station Brewpub 209 19.1%
Yaletown Brewing Co 44347 147 100%
Craig Street Brewing Co Ltd 63910 43137 143 -32.5%
Patricia Hotel Vancouver 38787 40202 134 3.6%
RDO Brewing Ventures Ltd 36046 Barkerville 120 100%
Big Ridge Brewing Company 32591 31508 105 -3.3%
Three Ranges Brewing Company Ltd 28436 94 100%
Freddy’s Brew Pub 26466 88 100%
Barley Mill Brewpub 27327 0.0 0 -100.0%
Plan B Brewing Co 111483 0.0 0 -100.0%
Avalon Brewing Co 353808 0.0 Old Red Truck Location 0 -100.0%

* Arrowhead and Bridge numbers are adjusted to approximate annual production, as they were not open for the entirety of the reporting period.

Written by chuck

December 25th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Breweries

6 Responses to 'BC Breweries by Production 2014'

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  1. Interesting.

    I think I already know the answer to my question, but does beer that is being sold outside of BC/Canada need to first sold to the LDB ? In other words, would beer sold outside of our province show up in these numbers? I don’t believe they would.

    Beer sold in Alberta (and other provinces) by breweries like P49, Whistler, etc would account for a decent chunk of their sales. Or to Korea by Mission Springs, Phillips in Japan.


    27 Dec 14 at 07:18

  2. These numbers won’t include exports out of country or out of province.

    Also, (insanely) the payments made to breweries will include a deposit of $30 per keg which breweries are (insanely) required to remit to the LDB, which the LDB then looks at, mulls over, and returns to the brewery two weeks later.

    This obviously isn’t the 2014 calendar year. What period does this cover, Chuck?


    28 Dec 14 at 09:26

  3. @Tyler – Yup, you’re correct. Out of province deals are not reflected in the LDB payments.

    @Ben – LDB’s FY is April to March, so this covers April 2013 to March 2014. That’s why you don’t show up 🙂


    28 Dec 14 at 14:36

  4. Chuck, next year the numbers will include our first 10 1/2 months. Remind me when it happens and I’ll tell you how accurate your volume estimate is.


    29 Dec 14 at 20:19

  5. So I’m trying to figure out how these numbers work and it’s surprisingly hard to figure out the distribution and taxing process for craft breweries. Do you know of any resources that describe it thouroughly?

    Do the numbers in the LDB report include tasting room sales? Growler fills? Bottles to local stores?

    Are they wholesale price? Total revenue?


    9 Feb 16 at 19:13

  6. It is indeed hard to figure out. You’ll need someone with access to the LDB tax/pricing system to walk you through the markups. I’ve seen screen shots, but alas I cannot share those due to confidentiality agreements.

    The numbers I report are payments from the LDB to the various booze producers. These totals include all payments from the LDB to the breweries in question, which by law includes all alcohol sales made by those breweries. Even if that alcohol did not leave the physical brewery (eg tasting room) or ever go through the LDB itself (bottles to local stores or growlers) the money must first go to the LDB, and then be paid out to the brewery a few months later.

    As these are prices paid to the manufacturer, they are what you’d call “wholesale.” Markups made by the Govt Liquor Stores or your local LRS are not included, as those funds go to the GLS and LRS respectively, not the brewery.


    9 Feb 16 at 19:46

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