Tuesday, 20 November, 2018


Local Brewers react to 'Buck-a-Beer' program

Glasses of beer are seen in this undated Glasses of beer are seen in this undated
Conrad Doyle | 08 August, 2018, 04:37

Today Premier Doug Ford is expected to reveal the provincial government's buck-a-beer plan.

While some consumers welcome the news, some brewers say they won't participate.

If you're looking for a cheap brew in Ford's "buck-a-beer" era, head to Prince Edward County, Ont.

"We're going to do this smartly and responsibly".

The new price will not apply to draft beer sold in restaurants and bars or ciders, spirits and wine.

"Under Ford's plan, brewers won't be required to charge less but they will be given incentives like prime spots in LCBO stores".

Currently, the retail price floor sits at $1.25 and while brewers won't be mandated to lower prices, the "Buck-a-Beer Challenge" encourages Ontario brewers to "receive LCBO promotional considerations such as limited-time discounts, in-store displays on end aisles and shelf extenders, or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts".

Paul Meek with Kitchesippi Beer Company isn't on board with the idea. "I don't know if his plan was to make the breweries look greedy or just to underscore his populist direction, but it is ridiculous", he said, adding the move ignores the shift towards more complex and well-crafted beer.

Meek says Kitchesippi contributes to the community through a variety of charitable events and supports a staff that is well-paid with good benefits, both of which would have to be cut if he were to cut the price of a bottle of beer to a dollar.

"Give the tax payers a break and let them have 24 cans of beer for 24 bucks. So yah, we're out".

"Yeah, I'll take it", said one man unloading empties.

"Lower alcohol prices can lead to increased consumption, particularly among those with alcohol problems, and among young people, and that increased consumption can in turn lead to increased alcohol-related problems, including impaired driving".

"Lowering the price of alcohol carries implications and risks for public safety", MADD Canada said in a statement.

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