Doug Ford expected to unveil Ontario ‘buck-a-beer’ plan today

Buck-a-beer details confirmed, Ontario brewery announces participation

The PC government is bringing back "Buck a Beer" Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Tuesday.

Currently, the retail price floor sits at $1.25 and while brewers won't be mandated to lower prices, the "Buck-a-Beer Challenge" encourages Ontario brewers to "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".

"I certainly don't want to have the same prices on my product as we did eight or nine years ago because the cost to produce that product has gone up significantly", said Paul Meek, owner of Kichesippi Beer Co. He also indicated there are no tax incentives involved and tax payers' money will not be used.

Buck-a-beer Premier Doug Ford said the move would create competition in the beer market.

Last beer for a dollar could buy in Ontario in 2008, and since then the progressive conservatives promised to return this feature for several election campaigns.

"I don't think a lot of breweries will be participating in this", Meek said, "I think it's a bad idea". But other Ontario craft breweries have made it clear that they have no intention to take part in the program, with Great Lakes Brewery posting on Twitter that they "believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that are current prices are very fair", and Hometown Brew Co. stating that they value "quality & sustainability above all else".

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"It would be nice to go back to that price again", added a woman.

Brewers would not be required to charge less, and the lower minimum price would not apply to draft beer, nor would it include the bottle deposit.

"Nobody is being forced to lower their prices and there will be no subsidies or tax handouts", Ford said, calling the move a "win-win".

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said there are no financial incentives from the government and the tax portion of the cost of beer is not being reduced. "The premier is asking beer producers to lower their prices down to a dollar". "Instead we're going to do what we said we would do and put Ontario consumers first". "You're going to get what you pay for". 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.

However, at least one brewery is willing to embrace buck-a-beer.

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