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Beer helping to drive Canadian economy

The Canadian economy is heavily underpinned by beer according to a recent report, with the beverage accounting for 45% of all drinks sales.

Molson Canadian, one of the biggest beer producers in Canada

The Conference Board of Canada recently released a report which showed that beer directly supports 163,200 jobs in the country – three times bigger than the wine and spirit industries combined – and contributes C$5.8 billion in taxes every year or 1% of Canada’s GDP.

The report also showed that beer consumption in Canada is unusually local, with 85% of brews drunk there being produced in the country itself.

The apparent impact on the GDP of spending one dollar on beer in Canada (according to the report) is $1.12.

John Sleeman, founder of Sleeman Breweries and head of the industry lobby group, Beer Canada, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the new wave of craft brewers in the country was helping to drive sales – particularly as consumption patterns were changing.

He said: “These people are coming along and making themselves interesting to the consumer and saying maybe we can get these people back from the vodkas and the wines and be excited about selling beer again.”

Conversely, the lack of inter-provincial trade agreements means that small Canadian brewers (and winemakers and distillers) are unable to sell their products elsewhere in Canada as it’s too expensive.

“There are some great beers in Alberta that people in B.C.  or on the other coast in Halifax would love to have, but it costs a lot of money to have the attention or to ship the product that kind of distance,” said Sleeman.

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