Yukon's beer economy

Beer is a major building block in Canada's economy, says the Conference Board of Canada, and the Yukon economy may be more closely tied to beer than other parts of the country.
Yukon has the highest per capita beer consumption in Canada, and beer is an important economic driver in Canada, says a recent study. 1:38

Beer is a major building block in Canada's economy, says the Conference Board of Canada, and the Yukon economy may be more closely tied to beer than other parts of the country.

Beer put nearly $6 billion into government revenues last year through taxes fees and duties. The Yukon number alone was $6 million through taxes and permits. And the Conference Board of Canada says one out of every 100 Canadian workers is employed by the beer industry.

"This includes everyone from the brewers themselves to the transporters, warehousing and retail and wholesale," said economist Jacqueline Palladini. "Yukoners are the biggest drinkers of beer. There were 385 bottles consumed per resident last year."

The Yukon Brewing Company makes beer in the territory's capital city. Company president Bob Baxter has a staff of 20 people but he says it doesn't stop there.

"I am not sure how many people are employed in the Yukon; I would say 12,000 or 15,000 people, something like that," he said. "So I guess if it was one per cent, that would be 120 or 130 jobs or so and we've go 20 of them here. You can see, you start to add them all up - the truck drivers and the graphic designers and the bartenders and the servers and the farmers . .  not a lot of barley farmers here, but they're out there too."

Conference board economist Jacqueline Palladini says the Yukon economy may be more beer-related than others partly because of tourism and seasonal workers. 

"People from outside the territory love coming to Yukon and consuming beer," she said. 

However, the conference board did not research the downside of the over-consumption of beer including drunk driving, medical or social problems.

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