Premier Doug Ford announces buck-a-beer launching in Ontario this month

An Alberta judge has ruled the government's mark-up policy on craft beer is unconstitutional. THE CANADIAN PRESS  AP  Toby Talbot

Barely Days Brewery has announced that it will be launching a new beer called Loon Lager at the "buck-a-beer" price point, with a promise that it is "not going to compromise" on quality.

Going into effect on August 27, the new price floor will challenge Ontario's 260 breweries to lower prices to $1.00 for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6% in time for Labour Day.

Brewers would not be required to charge less, however, and the lower minimum price would not apply to draft beer, nor would it include the bottle deposit. "You couldn't be more tone deaf on this subject". Ontario previously had buck-a-bottle beer but the previous Liberal government hiked the minimum price in 2008 citing social responsibility.

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.

While that sounds insanely cheap, note that for the last 10 years, the minimum price for beer was only $1.25.

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The conservatives campaigned that bringing back buck a beer would allow more competition in the beer market "without affecting the province's revenues" from beer and wine taxes - approximately $589 million in 2016-17 as stated in government documents. Lakeport, the brewery that adopted and popularized "buck-a-beer" in the past before being purchased by Labatt, also still sells for just $1.60 a can.

"A lot has changed, not the least of which is the cost of ingredients to make the product, the cost of labour", said Simmons. "I think people in Ontario are mature enough to know when they've had one too many", he said. Many Ontarians took to Twitter Tuesday to voice their discontent with the "buck-a-beer" announcement, particularly in light of the government's recent cancellation of a Basic Income Pilot project. "I honestly can't see how a brewer can pull that off", he said. Angry residents created the hashtag #boycottbuckabeer which urged consumers to avoid buying beer at any brewer offering beer for $1 a bottle.

He is to be joined by Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and local MPP and Government House Leader Todd Smith. "We firmly believe that you really do get what you pay for", the brewery wrote.

Muskoka Brewery was one of the companies that declined to participate today. "The Premier is asking the beer producers to lower their price".

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