07/25/2013 05:48 EDT | Updated 09/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Ontario renews special funding for microbreweries

Ontario is renewing its $1.2 million annual funding program for the microbrewery industry.

The money will be available for the next two years to help the small breweries "explore new marketing, training and tourism development opportunities," the province said in a news release.

The reason is clear, according to Economic Development Minister Eric Hoskins.

"Extending the microbrewery strategy will help support the success of this thriving industry," he said in the same release.

The LCBO says it has seen more than 700 per cent growth in microbrewery sales in the past decade.

Tom Patterson of Toronto's Junction Brewery says in the three years he's been in business his products have found there way into dozens of bars and restaurants, but growing the business is difficult.

"We're trying to expand and we need some capital to do so," he said.

Beer authority Stephen Beaumont says demand for microbrew beer is at an all time high.

"People aren't happy with the same old same old," he said. "They want to try something new."