BURP ALERT - Ford to roll out buck-a-beer plan

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Britt Dixon spoke to a number of local craft brewers and none of them are embracing the new lower minimum price, saying there's no way they could produce a beer with quality ingredients for a dollar and it will only be a small number of breweries that will be able to participate.

"Nobody is being forced to lower their prices and there will be no subsidies or tax handouts", Ford said at the event.

What exactly is buck-a-beer?

Barley Days Brewery General Manager Kyle Baldwin says they hope to be offering a case of 24 beers for $24 soon.

It's official. "Buck-a-Beer" is coming back to Ontario in time for the Labour Day long weekend. "I'd be shocked if you saw a lot of breweries jump on this buck-a-beer thing". Today I am proud to say: "Promise made, promise kept".

To encourage brewers to lower their prices, the Premier formally launched the 'Buck-a-Beer Challenge.' Any brewer who agrees to lower their prices on or after August 27 will, for a limited time throughout the year, receive LCBO promotional considerations such as limited-time discounts, in-store displays on end aisles and shelf extenders, or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts.

Effective Aug. 27, Ontario's government will lower the minimum price floor to $1 for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6%.

The current Progressive Conservative government has said going back to the old price would also increase competition in the beer market, without affecting the province's revenues from beer and wine taxes. "The margins keep getting tighter and tighter and you want to invest in your company, to grow and create more jobs".

Ontario's previous buck a beer was changed by the Liberal government in 2008 as part of its social responsibility mandate. Each type has a different audience, and the $1 beer price caters to just one of those audiences, he suggested.

"The impact extends beyond the price of a beer". Many Ontarians took to Twitter Tuesday to voice their discontent with the "buck-a-beer" announcement, particularly in light of the government's recent cancellation of a Basic Income Pilot project.

"It's basically a discriminatory promotion, in that it's only going to be leveraged by brands that are sufficiently close to that price-point".

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli stressed that the amount of tax brewers pay on each unit of beer sold will remain unchanged.

"Our cheapest beer costs us about $1.40 to make, and that's just pure cost to make the beer".

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