The global beer industry has faced significant headwinds the past few years. The pandemic, followed by the escalation of input costs, supply chain difficulties and shifts in consumer preference hit hard, but not all is doom and gloom. China’s brewing industry is quite profitable and markets such as Brazil, Colombia and Mexico continue to thrive and grow. In 2022, global beer production rose in 2022 to 1.89 million hectolitres (mln hL) from 1.87 in 2021, an increase of 1.33 per cent, or a little more than the beer output of Canada.
Launched in June by the Alberta Small Brewers Association (ASBA), the Alberta Ale Trail website is a carefully curated, year-round provincial tourism guide geared to local and international craft beer enthusiasts. The website promotes the province’s entire brewing sector in one convenient resource that features interactive trail maps. With the province’s burgeoning brewing industry as its central hook, tour itineraries incorporate complementary activities, attractions and accommodations that play to the broader tourism strengths of each region. The site also features a beer-themed events page.
As part of a two-year project, the University of Alberta is building the Database on Alberta Soil Health (DASH). The goal is to create an online resource that marries soil data with associated agronomic and climate data to generate recommendations for use by farmers, soil scientists and agronomists.
FuelPositive of Waterloo, ON, has the ambitious goal to disrupt the global ammonia industry with its customizable, on-farm production system. These modular, containerized units would allow farmers to produce their own anhydrous fertilizer and, eventually, fuel. It’s a timely project given recent input cost fluctuations.
Rural Albertans are known for their support of landowner rights and the free market. However, the contracting of farmland to utility-scale renewable energy projects including solar farms has divided communities. Though these projects can create an attractive revenue stream for individual landowners and a lucrative tax injection for municipalities, they can be very unpopular with neighbours. Renewable development is unlikely to stop, but public concern may affect the way in which projects are structured and approved.