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Beer Industry Boosts The Canadian Economy

44 cents of every dollar spent on beer goes to government in taxes

Ottawa, November 5, 2013 – Every dollar that Canadians spend on beer generates $1.12 in the Canadian economy, according to a Conference Board of Canada report issued today, From Farm to Glass: The Value of Beer in Canada.


  • Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country, accounting for 8.1 per cent of all household spending on food and beverages.
  • The beer economy supports 163,200 jobs across the country, or 1 out of every 100 jobs in Canada.
  • Beer consumption generates $5.8 billion in annual tax revenues for federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments.
  • Canadians bought the equivalent of 235 bottles of beer per person in 2012 at beer and liquor stores and agencies.
  • In 2012, residents in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and the Prairie provinces consumed more beer than the Canadian average; British Columbians consumed the lowest amount.

"Beer has been a part of Canadian life for hundreds of years," said Pedro Antunes, Director, National and Provincial Forecast. "The beer economy is a significant employer. No matter where people buy beer, they support jobs across the country."

beer pintsThe Conference Board estimates that total beer sales — including stores and on-premise-sales at restaurants, pubs, airports, trains, concerts and sporting events — averaged $12.3 billion annually between 2009 and 2011. Consumption accounted for $13.8 billion annually in economic activity during this period, equal to $1.12 for every dollar spent in real-dollar terms.

The beer economy in Canada is much larger than the brewers themselves — it includes retail sales, transportation and wholesale distribution, and the agricultural products needed to make beer. The beer economy supports more than 163,000 jobs across the country — one out of every 100 jobs.

Provinces such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia act as brewing hubs, while other parts of Canada supply grains, electric power, transportation and packaging.

The Atlantic provinces (with more than 10,000 jobs supported by the beer economy) have a number of large brewers in the region, but thousands of jobs are also supported through the supply chain, including paperboard manufacturing and in transportation.

Central Canada is the brewing hub of the country, home to the head offices of the three largest Canadian brewers. In addition, financial firms that support the industry are headquartered in the region, as are rental and insurance services. Almost 87,000 jobs in Ontario and Quebec are supported by the beer economy.

While the three Prairie provinces are not large brewers, they supply energy, water and grains for production, and support the distribution and warehousing of beer, supporting more than 20,000 jobs in total.

British Columbia has 72 breweries, second only to Ontario. Almost 19,000 jobs in B.C. and the three territories are due to beer consumption locally and across Canada.

Beer consumption generates $5.8 billion in annual tax revenues for federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. For every dollar spent, 44 cents goes to government in the form of personal income taxes, corporate income taxes and taxes on products (such as sales taxes).

The study was commissioned by Beer Canada. It is publicly available in our e-Library.

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