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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Brunswick's Selection Lager & Light Tanking

I saw this coming. Actually, I think a lot of people saw this coming. I just didn't think it would have taken this long.

The CBC is reporting that sales of the cheap New Brunswick government-owned beer, Selection Lager & Light, which is produced/contract-brewed by Moosehead Breweries solely for NB Liquor Corp, are in the dumps.

Selection Lager and Selection Light sold a combined four cases of beer at three of the province's largest retail outlets on Labour Day, according to NB Liquor's inventory lists.

Selection Lager, Light sales (cases of 12 cans)
March (19 days) 26,677
April 18,237
May 18,972
June 15,323
July 10,759
August 10,500

The NB government launched the mainstream/cheap-inspired beer back in March, putting more of the same bland product on the shelves, only this time they would take a bigger cut of the profits and eat into the sales of other breweries. The initiative was also launched much to the displeasure of two local craft breweries, Pump House and Northampton, who have both publicly said that they were never contacted to produce the beer; even if they couldn't handle the output required.

How did the government even allow this? A government run liquor selling their own beer, in their own stores, at a lower cost than competitor's, who are in fact paying the government to sell beer?

Craig Pinhey, my tasting partner with TAPS, wrote a great piece on the whole mess back in March - click here to have a read.


Alan said...

It's those voices in my brain, I tell ya.

Lager Bore said...

Immoral, unethical, downright low. Venal.

One asks how the government allowed this. It seems the government was all for this. I wonder, how did the people allow this? Apathy. It's just not important to some people.

And it isn't much better in Ontario, is it. In the last year the Star has hit the Beer Store and taxes issues repeatedly. Someone launched an "abolish the Beer Store" petition. And yet we're no closer to seeing civilized sales of wine and beer. I doubt we ever will be.

I lived in Quebec City for six years. Beer is sold in the corner store, and not just Molson and Labatt, without a decent into lawlessness. Are Ontarians somehow inferior, and need the givverment to regulate every aspect of our lives?

The first party to promise to abolish the LCBO and Beer Store has my vote.

Troy Burtch said...

Roger - good comments. However don't see the LCBO receiving a death punch from any government body of the day. I would just like to see a more wide open playing field like the wine industry has - with their Wine Racks and such; without all the government control

Lager Bore said...

I don't see the LCBO dissolving any time soon either.

But people really don't get what it's all about. It is there to generate revenue for the government. People who know better make funny comments like, "oh, but look, this season they've decided to highlight Ontario craft beers!" as if it comes from the goodness of their hearts. The Little Guy pays through the nose for that splashy advertising, and a spot in the store to compete with sixers of Heineken.

Sadly, some craft brewers are afraid of abolition of the beer store and LCBO. They feel they wouldn't get on the shelf in small stores. I wish I could pay for their train ride to Montreal.

Anonymous said...

I lived in the states for most of the summer and getting back home to ontario it is almost sickening to shop at the lcbo or beer store.

Sure maybe they have cheaper beers down south, but when you can buy a 24 of canned light beer for 9.99 (you heard me right) or a 1.75 l of decent vodka or rum for 14.99 and come back home to see the same bottle listed for 54.99 CAD you can't help but really question what they are doing to us.

It cost me 21.50 for 8 tallboys yesterday and they couldn't even take the time to set up or stock the cardboard beer carries. They never have them anymore, we pay insane markup for things like morality, government control etc and they can not even stock simplistic things for the consumer.

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