Ford's buck-a-beer plan likely to cost LCBO revenue

Ford's buck-a-beer plan likely to cost LCBO revenue

The new price floor doesn't apply to draft beer sold in restaurants and bars or ciders, spirits and wine. While some beer drinkers are happy with the possibility of paying less for their suds, others are criticizing Ford for what they believe to be misplaced priorities.

Beer fans across Ontario can officially start counting down the days until the return of "Buck-a-Beer", the popular $1-per-beer price floor that delighted people across Ontario until it was cancelled when the previous government abruptly introduced new beer price regulations. "They created a new rule, another piece of red tape that made a buck-a-beer illegal", said Mr. Ford.

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

Ford says the province will offer "non-financial incentives" to brewers who lower their prices in time for labour day weekend.

"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".

The move will have no effect on the province's $589-million in revenue from beer and alcohol taxes, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said. "You couldn't be more tone deaf on this subject".

Brewers won't be forced to reduce their prices, but it could get them in the spotlight at LCBO stores.

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The current minimum price will drop from $1.25 to $1, according to the Premier.

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. And he doubts many other brewers will take the premier's bait. "It was hard for us to make beer anywhere less than $2 per short can in costs alone", he said in an open letter to the government.

For example, a brewer seeking one shelf extender filled with its product in every LCBO where one is available specifically for Ontario beer - 361 of the LCBO's 660 stores - would pay more than $27,000 for the promotion to run for roughly one month.

"This is voluntary. We aren't forcing breweries to sell for $1", the source said.

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.

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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