EXCLUSIVE: Strong 2.3% Increase of Quebec’s Minimum Price of Beer as of April 1st 2019

On April 1, as every year, the Quebec minimum price of beer will be indexed to inflation and all retailers must comply with it by making sure not to sell their beer cheaper than this basic price.

However, Canadian inflation has peaked last year since 2011, at 2.3% versus 1.7% for Quebec (see source here).

The industry is gaining 0.6% in real price increase compared to the Quebec inflation! … not enough to retire but good news anyway.

Indeed, the Régie des alcools, courses et jeux (RACJ) — Quebec’s Liquord Board — will likely announce this week that it will raise the minimum beer prices by 2.3% uniformly according to the various categories of alcohol, as follows:

  • $2.9777 to $3.0462 per liter for beers with less than 4.1% alcohol by volume;
  • $3.1452 to $3.2175 per liter for beers of not less than 4.1% and not more than 4.9%;
  • from $3.2626 to $3.3376 per liter for beers over 4.9% and not more than 6.2%;
  • from $3.3720 to $3.4496 per liter for beers with more than 6.2% alcohol by volume.

Thus, the Quebec minimum price of beer for a 24-pack of Bud Light (4% alcohol) will rise from $24.37 to $24.92, an increase of 55 cents.

That of a 24-pack of Molson Dry (5.5%) will cross the $27 mark, rising from $26.69 to $27.30, an increase of 61 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.

Product
Alcohol Rate
NEW Min. Price $/L
Size
Quantity
Min. Price $
Metro
COSTCO
MAXI
IGA
Dépanneur RAPIDO
Bud Light4 %3,046212 can. 355 ml
4.26
12.98
17.99
16.99
24 can. 355 ml
8.52
25.95
28.00
30.99
30 can. 355 ml
10.65
32.44
35.99
60 can. 355 ml.
21.30
64.88
63.42
63.42
Coors Light4 %3,046212 can. 355 ml
4.26
12.98
16.99
18 can. 355 ml
6.39
19.47
60 can. 355 ml.
21.30
64.88
63.42
63.42
Labatt Blue4,9 %3,046212 bot. 341 ml
4.09
12.46
24 bot. 341 ml
8.18
24.92
31.99
28.00
30.98
Budweiser5 %3,337620 can. 355 ml.
7.10
23.70
25.99
24 bot. 341 ml
8.18
27.30
31.99
28.00
48 bot. 341 ml
16.36
54.60
55.00
60 can. 355 ml
21.30
71.09
69.49
12 can. 355 ml
4.26
14.22
17.99
Molson Canadian5 %3,337624 bot. 341 ml
8.18
27.30
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.

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