1.9% Increase of Quebec’s Minimum Price of Beer as of April 1st 2020

Reflecting a quite strong economy, inflation in Canada has reached a substantial level of 1.9% last year versus 2.3% the previous year (see source here), after several years of low increases such as 0.9% in 2013 or 1.1% in 2015.

For Quebec beer lovers, that essentially means the minimum price of beer sold here will be increased by a similar rate on April 1st.

Indeed, the Régie des alcools, courses et jeux (RACJ) — Quebec’s Liquor Board — will announce over the next few months that it will raise the minimum beer prices by 1.9% uniformly according to the various categories of alcohol, as follows:

  • $3.0461 to $3.1040 per liter for beers with less than 4.1% alcohol by volume;
  • $3.2175 to $3.2787 per liter for beers of not less than 4.1% and not more than 4.9%;
  • from $3.3377 to $3.4011 per liter for beers over 4.9% and not more than 6.2%;
  • from $3.4496 to $3.5151 per liter for beers with more than 6.2% alcohol by volume.
deux taux d'alcool qc canada
TWO ALCOHOL LEVELS FOR THE LABATT BLUE! In addition to having an effect on retail prices, the regulation on minimum prices also has an effect on … the alcohol level! Indeed, given that the minimum prices vary according to the alcohol level, Labatt decided to lower that of the Labatt Blue from 5% (in effect everywhere in Canada) to 4.9% in Quebec only. This allows Labatt to sell its 24 pack at a much better price if it wants to (up to $1 less). So one beer, two different alcohol rates, all thanks to the Quebec beer regulation!

Thus, the Quebec minimum price of beer for a 24-pack of Bud Light (4% alcohol) will rise from $25.95 to $26,45, an increase of 50 cents.

That of a 24-pack of Molson Dry (5.5%) will almost reach the $29 mark, rising from $28.44 to $28.98, an increase of 54 cents.

Now, will this affect current prices? Not necessarily, because the vast majority of retailers already sell their beer well above the minimum price, as we reported in a previous article (see here).

According to DepQuébec‘s most recent beer price survey, only Costco and a few beer discount c-stores will be forced to raise prices and that, for some products only. See by yourself (taxes are not included).

Product
Alcohol Level
New
Min Price $/L
Format
Liters
2020 Min Price ($)
Current Prices Couche-Tard
Current Prices COSTCO
Current Prices IGA
Current Prices Dépanneur RAPIDO
Bud Light4 %3,104012 can. 355 ml
4.26
13.22
17.99
17.99
24 can. 355 ml
8.52
26.45
31.99
30 can. 355 ml
10.65
33.06
36.99
60 can. 355 ml.
21.30
66.12
64.88
64.88
Coors Light4 %3,104012 can. 355 ml
4.26
13.22
17.99
24 can. 355 ml
8.52
26.45
31.99
28 bot. 341 ml
9.55
29.64
30.99
60 can. 355 ml.
21.30
66.12
64.88
64.88
Labatt Bleue4,9 %3,278730 can. 355 ml
10.65
34.92
35.55
24 bot. 341 ml
8,18
26.83
31.99
Budweiser5 %3,401116 can. 355 ml.
5.68
19.32
19.99
24 bot. 341 ml
8.18
27.83
31.99
48 can. 355 ml
17.04
57.95
57.00
56.87
60 can. 355 ml
21.30
72.44
71.09
12 can. 355 ml
4.26
14.49
Molson Canadian5 %3,401124 bot. 341 ml
8.18
27.83
31.99
30.99

Only cases of 60 cans of Coors Light, Bud Light and Budweiser sold at Costco will need their price to be raised to equal or exceed the new minimum price as well as similar products at the Dépanneur Rapido.

For the rest, it does not change anything, which does not mean that manufacturers and retailers will not take advantage of the increase to raise their own prices on the sly.

This is still indicative of one thing: the time when beer was systematically sold at the minimum price is over.

Still, Quebec remains a paradise for affordable beer in Canada, especially when compared to Ontario.

This explains in particular why DepQuébec’s articles about Quebec beer prices and translated into English are among the portal’s most popular outside La Belle Province!

Cheers.

promos de bière
The beer offer in Quebec is very dynamic and diversified as demonstrated by these specials and promotions captured a few days ago in some major banner outlets.

DepQuébec

Allo

DepQuébec has 23 posts and counting. See all posts by DepQuébec

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