Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery eliminating jobs as part of ‘immediate cost-cutting measures’


As part of “significant cost-cutting measures,” one of Calgary’s biggest and most well-known breweries will be reducing its workforce.

Big Rock Brewery said in a news release on Wednesday that steps were being taken to deal with “the persistent regulatory environment for brewers of its size in Alberta.”

Big Rock said the previous provincial government imposed a 104 per cent tax increase on the brewery in late 2018, which marked a 160 per cent hike in the corporation’s taxes since 2016.

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The increase “forced the corporation’s senior management to take immediate cost-cutting measures as the increase in the tax on Big Rock’s beer in Alberta has eroded the profitability achieved by Big Rock in 2018,” the news release said.

Big Rock did not say how many people are currently employed with the brewery or how many jobs would be lost. It also did not say when any changes would take place.

The brewery said the corporation’s CEO and CFO conducted an “extensive evaluation of all aspects of Big Rock’s business and financial results” and identified “several cost-cutting measures that will allow the corporation to remain competitive, support anticipated growth and drive long-term value for shareholders.”

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Some of those cost-cutting measures would be “one-time restructuring costs.”

“Management is committed to maintaining and continuing to support its relationships with customers, consumers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders while returning the business to profitability in this current regulatory environment,” Big Rock said.

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It’s expected the brewery will see lower operating costs beginning in the third quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.

Big Rock said without making major changes, and with the continuation of the current provincial tax for Alberta beer, the company’s provincial liquor taxes would jump from $10.7 million in 2018 to $21 million in 2019, based on 2018 sales.

Big Rock has been operating and expanding in the province for about 34 years. It operates breweries in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto and sells in five Canadian provinces and two territories, according to its website.

Global News reached out to the Alberta government to ask if it plans to address the provincial liquor tax framework but did not receive a response by publication time.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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