Alberta beer hike unfair, Saskatoon's Great Western Brewing says
Price increase puts Saskatchewan breweries at competitive disadvantage, CEO says
The CEO of Saskatoon's Great Western Brewing is weighing in on the Alberta-Saskatchewan beer dispute — and he's not happy.
In order to raise about $36 million a year in additional revenue, Alberta is hiking the markup on beer — a move Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has strongly criticized.
Until now, small brewers from Saskatchewan and B.C. that sell in Alberta have received a preferential markup, but on Aug. 5, that changes.
We're disappointed and a little bit shocked.- Great Western Brewing CEO Michael Micovcin
On that date, the markup will go to a flat rate of $1.25 per litre, representing a 78-cent-a-litre increase to Great Western products.
It means a six-pack that currently sells for $11 in Alberta will soon cost about $12.66. For a case of 24, the increase would be around $6.65.
Meanwhile, small Alberta breweries will get a subsidy, which Great Western CEO Michael Micovcin says puts his company at a competitive disadvantage.
Beer dispute headed for premier's conference
Because some 60 per cent of Great Western's business is done next door in Alberta, it's a concern, Micovcin said.
"There's been so much discussion, both federally and provincially, about eliminating interprovincial trade barriers, and this seems to go completely against the grain."
Micovcin is hoping the Saskatchewan and Alberta premiers can sort things out at this week's premiers' conference.
Beer is expected to be a topic of discussion with the premiers today in Whitehorse.