Course Description

Man at his computer in a beer brewing lab

This course provides a basic understanding of the taxes, regulations, distribution, branding, marketing, and export of craft beer in Ontario.

The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a basic understanding of the current policies related to Craft Beer in Ontario and how these policies have been developed. This information will assist the participant in successfully positioning and promoting their Ontario Craft Brewery and flag possible regulatory, and tax concerns before they become issues.

Learner Outcomes

Section 1: Taxes

Upon successful completion of this section, participants will know the Federal and Provincial taxes and markups applicable in Ontario.

The participant will be able to recognize when tax issues may arise in the brewing process.


  1. How Federal and Provincial beer taxes are calculated and when they are due
  2. Management of partially finished goods and their relation to taxable product
  3. Areas within the Federal and Ontario tax system that are being targeted for adjustment by the industry
  4. Practical aspects of tax within the brewery and the impact of Contract Brewing

Section 2: Regulations

Upon successful completion of this section, participants will know the current Federal and Provincial Regulations most applicable to the production and marketing of beer.

The student will have an up to date understanding of the basic regulations.


  1. A detailed review of Federal labeling regulations
  2. A detailed review of Ontario Provincial regulations for selling within the established distribution channels and potential for change

Section 3: Distribution

Upon successful completion, participants will know the various distribution channels available for beer sales in Ontario.

Participants will have an understanding of the costs and techniques related to successfully selling in each channel including things to consider before working in various distribution channels including:


  • The Beer Store
  • Grocery
  • On Site Retail Store
  • On line Sales


  1. A practical guide to how each distribution channel works
  2. Recent and pending changes to distribution channels

Section 4: Branding

Upon successful completion, participants will know the guiding principles to building a brand.


  1. Tested theories of the Laws of Branding
  2. Application of those theories to a craft beer brand

Section 5: Marketing

Upon successful completion of this section, the student will know the guiding principles to building a Marketing plan for a craft brewery.


  1. Determining your unique selling proposition
  2. Rationale for marketing decisions

Section 6: Exporting

Upon successful completion of this section, participants will know the basic fundamentals required to export their craft beers using the United States as an example.

The student will have an understanding of the key requirements that must be put in place for export.


  1. Shelf Life requirements
  2. The role of the Import Agent
  3. The role of the Wholesale Distributor
  4. Price Models
  5. The importance of understanding the impact of State franchise laws
  6. Govt and Marketing support programs for export


Instructor Bio

Drew Knox

Drew is an acknowledged leader and innovator in the Canadian brewing industry, recognized as a creative, well rounded, experienced senior executive with strong analytic and intuitive skills that have served him and his clients well over 30 years of career in Canada and the USA.

His eclectic background is broad and deep within the manufacturing, retail, travel, franchising, brand development and advertising sectors. His strategic industry connections span borders, sectors and more. His clients reap the benefits of his sound counsel and industry referrals.

Drew entered the brewing industry with Carling O’Keefe Breweries as Group Brand Manager. He then became a founding partner of The Algonquin Brewing Company in Formosa, Ontario; one of Canada’s first and most successful Craft Breweries. While at Algonquin he also established a network of U.S. Wholesale Distributors where he acquired significant knowledge regarding the U.S. three tier system. As a founding member and Chair of the Ontario Small Brewers Association, he successfully negotiated key Government initiatives and tax treatment that benefit the Craft Brewing industry to this day.

Selected career highlights include:

  • First Microbrewery in Ontario to hit 1% of Ontario Market – Algonquin/Formosa Brew Co
  • LCBO Award for Best New Product Launch (Tequila Rose Liqueur) – Knox & Co Intl Inc
  • Concept creator Bier Markt, Toronto, Ontario - Prime Restaurant Group

He is currently owner of Knox & Co Intl Inc, a beverage alcohol agency licensed by the LCBO and Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and serves as a consultant for the Ontario Craft Brewers Association where he has been instrumental in developing key strategies, grant funding, improved access to distribution and successful export programs.

Drew holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario.


Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in

Section Title
The Business of Brewing
M, T
8:30AM to 4:30PM
Feb 24, 2020 to Feb 25, 2020
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Whitby
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee non-credit $695.00
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