Buck-a-beer? No dice, say Ottawa brewers

Daniel Fowler
August 8, 2018

The price does not include a bottle deposit and does not apply to draft beer. "My friends we're going to do our part because a buck a beer is coming to a shelf near you".

News of buck a beer's return was met with concern from safety groups and criticism from the opposition parties. The PC government's "buck-a-beer challenge" is really a challenge to see brewers produce beer more cheaply today than they did a decade ago, despite the higher associated costs. "Here we have a premier that's cutting income to the very poorest amongst us as a priority and at the same time subsidizing buck a beer", she said, referring to the Tories' plan to cancel a basic income pilot project.

Asked whether he was concerned that cheaper beer might contribute to substance abuse and other harms, Ford said he trusts Ontario consumers to make smart choices when it comes to alcohol, regardless of the lower price.

"I want people to have a fair price but you can't keep raising the taxes provincially and federally on our product", Ladell said.

"We were just trying to find something that was going to spark curiosity in our brewery again and I thought this was a great opportunity". "You couldn't be more tone deaf on this subject".

In 2008 the previous government chose to ban Buck-a-Beer by setting a higher minimum price and today the retail price floor sits at $1.25.

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To provide incentives for brewers to lower their prices, the government is creating what it calls the buck-a-beer challenge, which will provide participating breweries with incentives at the provincially-owned LCBO stores.

Even a brand like Laker, which once prided itself on its $1-a-bottle price point, is retailing at $1.95 for a 473 ml can. It's not clear how many brewers will take the Premier up on his offer.

"The impact extends beyond the price of a beer".

"We are not reducing the tax level", says Vic Fedeli... which essentially says "we are encouraging breweries to eat the cost to participate in the "challenge". "I don't know if we could actually sell canned water for $1 so we definitely couldn't sell premium craft beer".

Scott Simmons, president of the Ontario Craft Beer Association, told CBC Radio's All In A Day that craft beer has been the fastest growing category of beer in the province for a number of years.

The premier was also asked about his plan for the sale of cannabis once it becomes legal in October, after some published reports said the province would allow private sector sales.

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