What’s a 24 of Molson cost? A pan-Canadian comparison
Ontario’s Beer Store monopoly said on Monday opening up beer and wine sales to competing convenience store operators in the province would drive up prices for consumers.
The Beer Store – which is owned by three private multinational brewers in Molson Coors, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Sapporo – said deregulation in Alberta and British Columbia has had the effect of lifting prices there, pointing to research it commissioned.
Using a standard case of Molson Canadian, we’ve taken a quick trip around the country and compared prices between provinces.
It was harder than it sounds: Though sold universally across Canada, there isn’t a standardized Canadian product sold through every province (a 24-pack of 341ml bottles, for example).
In Western Canada, 351ml cans appear to be the only choice for consumers. In Atlantic Canada, meanwhile, only 20- or 12- or 8-packs seem to be available. Nevertheless, we’ve cobbled together a chart comparing retail prices (see below).
What’s clear from the quick comparison? Quebec, which has allowed beer and wine sales in corner stores and supermarkets for years, seems to be a genuine outlier compared to the rest of the country, a wonderfully less-expensive one where the price of a 24-pack of cans or bottles (of Canadian) sells for about $27.
Beer prices in Ontario and British Columbia are also somewhat comparable (though a bit higher in Ontario), despite the fact that B.C. is unregulated and Ontario retail sales remain controlled by the three-brewer monopoly and the province’s liquor control board.
The most expensive place in Canada to buy a 24 of Canadian? Downtown Yellowknife, where a Liquor Store clerk told Global News a case of bottles is $56.65 (no cans available).
And for the rest of the country, a case of Canadian costs between $40 and $47, cans or bottles.
Here are the sources for the provincial liquor control boards and private distributors we sourced pricing information from: B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Yukon and Northwest Territories.