Minister of the Economy Pierre Fitzgibbon is open to give oxygen to microdistilleries in Quebec, who claim the same rights as microbreweries, vineyards and cideries.
In full swing, the microdistilleries of Quebec have been granted the right to sell their bottles of spirits directly to the property for a year. But it is the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) which retains control over their profits, taking 52.1% of the price of a bottle of gin or vodka.
Visiting Quebec to announce a $ 100,000 grant over four years to the Stadacion Distillery, Minister Fitzgibbon has promised to be the “spokesperson” of the Quebec Association of Microdistilleries (AMDQ) within his government .
“I am listening to the distilleries and I promised them that we would have a meeting soon to see in detail if indeed it is necessary to relax [the rules] to allow a greater growth of the distilleries of Quebec.”
In a submission tabled last February, the AMDQ calls for more freedom, such as being able to sell strong liquor bottles directly to restaurants, bars and festivals.
Minister Fitzgibbon wants Québec’s artisanal distilleries to be financially strong enough to export internationally and to make Quebec shine. “I think we have to be proud of our entrepreneurial entrepreneurs who have managed to build this new industry in a few years, while dusting off traditional spirits.”
Aim for export
Stadaconé Distillery, which opened a few weeks ago in Limoilou, aims to export the vast majority of its bottles. “We want to be part of a new wave that will make Quebec known, much like Scotland could have been,” says its president Jean-Pierre Allard, who left his position as chief technology officer at Optel to dive into this new adventure.
After having invested $ 1.8 million in the distillery, which also includes a boutique and a game of escape, the founders Jean-Pierre Allard, Alexandre Thomas and Jonathan Chrétien will soon begin the second phase of investment, the addition of an automatic bottling line.
Mr. Allard believes that it is “logical” that the SAQ take a large profit margin on the bottle of spirits sold in its branches. It should not, however, “tax” a product sold directly to the producer, he believes. Because of the rules in place, Stadaconé Distillery sells its bottles of gin almost “at a loss”, says Mr. Allard.
At present, there are 55 microdistilleries in Quebec that sell on the property. These often use berries, plants or flowers typical of Quebec to flavor their product.