Local breweries react to the PC Government's "Buck A Beer" campaign

Premier Doug Ford has said bringing back buck a beer would allow more competition in the beer market

Premier Doug Ford has said bringing back buck a beer would allow more competition in the beer market

Today, the leader of Ontario introduced his plan to bring back the $1-per-beer price floor in time for the Labour Day weekend. Brewers are not required to charge the lower rate and few in the province sell at the current minimum. The minimum wage hike to $14 per hour has also played a role in pushing up beer prices, as has increased prices on the ingredients needed to brew. Angry residents created the hashtag #boycottbuckabeer which urged consumers to avoid buying beer at any brewer offering beer for $1 a bottle. Barley Days Brewery, where Ford made his announcement, has said they will be releasing a specialty beer for $1.

The Premier criticized the former Liberal government for increasing the price a decade ago.

Effective Aug. 27, Ontario's government will lower the minimum price floor to $1 for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6%. However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.

In the meantime, there are already plenty of beers that sell for cheap in Ontario.

Anderson Craft Ales, London "It's physically not possible for us to sell our product for a dollar a beer because we would be losing money on every can that sold".

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

"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". "Our drinkers are looking for something with character and flavour. You're going to get what you pay for".

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A number of other breweries, including Great Lakes Brewery, Muskoka Brewery and The Napanee Beer Co., voiced frustration with the initiative and vowed that they wouldn't participate.

"Ontario, the day you've been waiting for is finally here", Ford told reporters. "We're confident we can produce a high-quality beer at that price", said Kyle Baldwin, the general manager of Barley Days.

"After spending weeks ripping up contracts and curriculums, dismantling climate plans and pilot projects, this is the first time the premier has actually given us something", Schreiner said in a statement.

Premier Doug Ford's indication Tuesday that brewers who agree to sell buck-a-beer will receive prominent placement in LCBO stores could cost the provincial crown corporation tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Ford said that throughout the year, brewers who do drop their prices will be eligible for limited time discounts, ads in LCBO flyers and in-store promotions such as end-of-aisle features or extended shelves.

"Give the taxpayers a break and let them have 24 cans of beer for 24 bucks".

"There are no financial incentives - the tax portion of the beer is not being reduced".

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