November 5, 2013 7:23 pm
Updated: November 19, 2013 10:57 am

Beer: Big business in Canada


REGINA – It’s no surprise that Canadians are beer drinkers, but a new study is shedding light on just how much we love our brew and the economic impact beer makes.

Last year, an average canadian bought 235 bottles of beer. Joshua Laurier thinks that’s about right.

“The social aspect, I guess. It’s about just having beers with friends and chilling out,” he said of his beer-drinking habits.

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Dr. Jason Childs teaches a course on beer economics at the University of Regina. The industry generates about $5.8 billion in tax revenue.

“It rates ahead of radio and television broadcasting and even ahead of dairy. This industry is bigger than a lot of others and it doesn’t get a lot of attention,” he said.

According to a new study by the Conference Board of Canada every dollar a Canadian spends on beer generates $1.12 in economic spin-off. One out of every 100 jobs is supported by the country’s beer industry.

“Last year we brewed 200 batches of beer and that was 800 litres per batch, so it was a banner year for us and it’s just going up and up and up,” said Grant Frew, bar manager at Bushwakker Brewpub in Regina.

That’s the equivalent of nearly 300,000 pints and Frew expects business will do even better during Grey Cup.

“You want something you can sip on, something that’s cool and refreshing, not too high in alcohol because you’re hoping to have a few, so that’s why football – and sports in general and beer go hand in hand,” he said.

Of course, not all aspects of beer consumption are positive.

“Beer, in and of itself is not a problem; it’s when someone consumes beer and commits a criminal offence,” said Regina Police spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich.

Regina Police are prepared for Grey Cup party-goers and hope most will drink responsibly.

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