Craft breweries: The next big thing

Business Manager, Stuart Commercial Inc., Sales Associate, ICR Commercial Real Estate
  • Aug. 1, 2017

What do craft breweries and frozen yogurt have in common? 

Craft Breweries image.Both industries enjoyed strong entry into the Saskatchewan market and made an impact in the commercial real estate landscape.

The question is will craft breweries melt as quickly as the frozen yogurt competition did?

Cool delights

Frozen yogurt exploded on the scene a few years ago.

ICR agents were fielding calls daily from interested start-ups and franchisees looking to capitalize on the “fro yo” trend.

It was a hard sell to some skeptical landlords, knowing our climate is predictably in a deep freeze for several months annually. Some of those tenancies have flourished; others were not so lucky. The market seems to have evened itself out.

There was definitely a demand for frozen yogurt but timing, location and, in general, business planning probably determined the surviving operators.

Market determines demand. In the case of the frozen yogurt stores, there could only be so many.

This craft’s for you

Fads can come and go, but I think most Canadians would tell you beer is here to stay.

Craft beer is loosely defined as beer made by small, independent brewers. The term microbrew preceded craft, but holds an entirely different connotation.

Microbrewers were often subject to a limited distribution of their product, and it was primarily served in-house.

Craft brewers, on the other hand, seek the largest audience possible.

Fill ‘er up

Craft breweries have popped up all over Saskatchewan, primarily putting down roots in Regina and Saskatoon.

The concept of the breweries is somewhat universal: These aren’t your grandpa’s neighbourhood bars.

Beer connoisseurs can visit a craft brew pub and settle in for a “flight” of sample beers before proceeding to the tap to fill a jug of the locally sourced product.

These jugs, most often referred to as growlers, are eco-friendly and tap into a generation of earth-conscious drinking folks.

Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming is on board, providing growler fill stations for some exclusive craft brewers in its stores.

Additional distribution to local bars allows the beer to flow outside of the craft pubs and many brands can be found stocked in liquor stores.

With a strong following for Regina’s Rebellion and Saskatoon’s 9 Mile and Prairie Sun, I feel safe in saying we won’t see the end of this craze any time soon.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who would welcome more. How about you?



I am a gal of all trades and wear a few hats at my current job though nothing quite as esteemed as my 1996 Unity Western Days Rodeo Queen crowned…

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I am a gal of all trades and wear a few hats at my current job though nothing quite as esteemed as my 1996 Unity Western Days Rodeo Queen crowned…

Read more




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