NB Liquor has been quietly selling deep discount beer to stores in five municipalities for months in response to cheap American and Quebec beer.

But the Crown agency has no plans to extend the special prices beyond the St. Stephen, Edmundston, Campbellton, Bathurst and Salisbury locations.

"It's a bit too early to tell whether we will expand," said Marcelle Saulnier, a NB Liquor spokesperson.

NB Liquor

NB Liquor customers in five municipalities are paying about $17 less for a case of beer than others in the province. (CBC)

A 24-bottle case of  various Keystone and James Ready brands currently costs about $30 in St. Stephen — $17 less than what customers in other parts of the province pay.

"I think it's great," said Barb Morrow, who had a case of Keystone Light in hand.

"A lot of people I know, they are buying it. I know people who are Bud Light customers and they have gone and switched just for the price, so it is a lot better."

James Ready is actually made in Saint John by Mooshead Breweries, but can't be purchased locally.

Craig Pinhey, a wine and beer critic, says its obvious the deals are being limited to areas prone to smuggling.

"Offering that beer in those border stores for X dollars is better than selling no beer," he said.

"But when you get into the big markets, where their beer is selling because people are not going to drive all the way to the [United} States or Quebec to get beer, there's no reason to offer discount brands."