06/20/2017 07:32 EDT | Updated 06/20/2017 08:00 EDT

Nova Scotians developing thirst for locally crafted wine, spirits and beer

HALIFAX — Nova Scotians are developing a taste for locally crafted beer and spirits — with vodka, rum and ciders named in honour of their maritime roots leading the charge.

New year-end figures released by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. today show the local industry is growing faster than expected thanks to new businesses and a growing range of products.

The sale of Nova Scotia spirits grew by 130.8 per cent to a value of $3.5 million from April 2016 through last March, with Blue Lobster Vodka topping the list.

Ready-to-drink products from the province — largely ciders — rose in sales by 83.7 per cent to $2.9 million, fuelled by the growth of drinks like No Boats on Sunday.

Craft beer sales grew by 34.2 per cent to $10.2 million, while Nova Scotia wines grew by 3.9 per cent to a value of $9.9 million.

The corporation says that while it listed products from only three local breweries four years ago, it now lists products from 18 local breweries. One of every four beer listings on NSLC shelves is a local craft beer.

Overall, it reported a net income of $239.2 million on $611.8 million in total sales, a slight decrease from the previous period.