| Dollar A Beer
by Harv Holmes
Greetings to you and all of BeerNexus from Toronto. I thought you
might like to know what's going on here in the home of the $1 beers.
Sounds great doesn't it? Well it's not that simple..
In Ontario will see the return of buck a beer very soon. While that's
something to cheer about the Canadian Press has learned, though
sources in the industry that few brewers will go along with that price.
Let me explain for those who don't know, that here the government
sets a minimum price on beer.
Our Progressive Conservative government plan is to lower the
minimum price of a bottle or can of beer to $1 from the current one
of $1.25 starting on the Labor Day holiday weekend. They are
following up on a campaign promise, which I for one am most glad to
see. I'm sure that pledge helped them win the election.
Here's the big catch in the whole thing - brewers would not be
required to charge any less then they do now which is far more than
a dollar but they can if they want go as low as $1. There is no
maximum price limit. Also the lower price would not apply to draft
beer nor would it include the bottle deposit.
By the way, both the former minimum price and the new one is only
for any beer that’s 5.6 per cent alcohol or less.
The main argument for bringing back buck a beer is that the lower
price would allow more competition in the beer market without
affecting the province’s revenues from beer and wine taxes, which
brought in roughly $589 million in the last fiscal year. The lower price
would enable more people to afford it and increased sales would
maintain tax revenues. Sounds logical to me.
Ontario previously had buck-a-bottle beer but the Liberal govern-
ment quietly hiked the minimum price in 2008, citing its “social
responsibility” mandate. They claimed that by increasing the price
there would be less binge drinking and drunkenness.
If you're wondering why the government thinks breweries would
lower their price so did I until I learned that they are offering “non-
financial incentives” to every brewer who sells beer for $1. Brewers
will be offered perks like prime spots at Liquor Control Board of
Ontario stores or advertising in the store magazine’s inserts, among
other possible rewards. Is that enough incentive? I don't know, but I
sure hope it is.
Thanks for reading this, Bob. I really enjoy your column and all of
Cheers from Toronto!
Thanks Harv, I enjoyed your article. It's always interesting to read
about beer in Canada where I know we have many readers. I hope
those incentives work and some breweries will reduce their prices. I
hope you get a chance to let me know the final outcome.
Again, many thanks for sending your article in- please write again!
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer in any way just as Harv did. I select the best and
publish them here. So join in and get writing!
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