Are Quebec Brewers Pricing Their Products Too High?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by polloenfuego, Jan 19, 2014.

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  1. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Pooh-Bah (2,322) Jan 26, 2013 Canada (NB)
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    In the last year, I have noticed that the prices on many (not all) beers from Quebec have increased significantly.

    For the early part of 2013, I could get a bottle of Charlevoix's Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus for about $10. Now that same beer is priced at $14/bottle.

    When you consider that there are quality Belgian beers such as St. Bernardus ABT (about $9 in most areas I have seen) or van de Keizer Blauw ($8 in Ottawa) for less than that available it makes you wonder what these brewers are thinking.

    Other examples I have seen are: Le Castor Yakima IPA...which was around $6 at the beginning of the year, is now closer to $10 for a bomber; DDC's prices have gone up across the board, though the amounts vary by popularity of the brew.

    I really enjoy Quebec beers and I think there are some real gems available from Quebec. But are they putting their market at risk with this pricing?
  2. markaberrant

    markaberrant Savant (1,031) Jan 9, 2006 Canada (SK)

    Dude, those prices are still way cheaper than what we pay out west.
    JonnyBeers likes this.
  3. Lurkaholic

    Lurkaholic Initiate (0) Jun 14, 2013 Canada (BC)

    Interesting to see the prices starting to go up. Wonder if it's a trend that we'll see more of across Canada? I guess when local breweries see what people are willing to pay for imported US brews that are taxed to hell and back, I can't fault them thinking they could get away with charging more.

    And speaking of expensive quebec beers - peche mortel 6 packs are $25 out here.
  4. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Savant (1,187) Oct 24, 2012 Canada (BC)

    ooh does that mean it's here now? I'd pay $25 for 6, it's like $10 a bottle in the US! lol
  5. Lurkaholic

    Lurkaholic Initiate (0) Jun 14, 2013 Canada (BC)

    I haven't seen any in the most recent shipment of DDC stuff that showed up in the past couple weeks, but a few places put in special orders periodically I think.
  6. Sammy

    Sammy Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,330) Dec 1, 2003 Canada (ON)
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    bombers are 10-20% too high for what they are
    Just saying

    That said, Loonie is off almost 10% with xchange costs, and could be another 10% off in next few years
  7. Electros

    Electros Grand Pooh-Bah (3,574) Feb 20, 2007 Canada (ON)
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    WOW. :O
  8. smekermann

    smekermann Initiate (0) Oct 18, 2006 Canada (BC)

    Quebec isn't the only province with this, though. Back in mid-2013 I paid ~$6.50 for a bomber of Parallel 49's first anniversary ale (ie. Hopnotist), which was amazing and good and great and one of the best imperial ipas to come out of BC. Just a few days ago I paid $40 for 4 bombers of P49 Robo Ruby, an imperial ruby ale (ie. red IPA) from the same brewing company, a beer that wouldn't be worthy of kissing the ground Hopnotist walked on. It's easily their worst beer (and I guess by beer I mean imperial IPA, just to keep things in perspective), and yet they're charging almost double for it. Ffffuck that.

    If this trend keeps up I guess I'm just going to go back to Fat Tug which is $5.75 a bomber at BCL stores until it inevitably goes up in price and then, once it does, maybe I'll just ferment potatoes in my bathtub.
  9. danhamlet

    danhamlet Initiate (0) May 27, 2009 Canada (QC)

    As far as the Yakima IPA goes (and all our beers), the pricing has not changed by one cent since it was first released on the market last spring. Our wholesale cost is the same for every one of our retail customers. They decide the final price. If you mark up our wholesale price by 20 to 30% you get a retail of $6.13 to $7, plus deposit and tax. If you are paying more than this, look elsewhere. The retailer is taking more than 30%. I have never heard of 10$ - that is CRAZY. We can't control what mark-up retail stores charge. Almost all are reasonable, but occasionally some will take advantage of popular beers. Some retailers in Quebec City are charging $8 plus tax and deposit as they are driving down to our brewery to get the beer - fair enough I suppose. But when we start delivering to Quebec city - I expect these prices to come down.

    Bombers can seem pricey sometimes, but I think this is a reasonable price considering we were hand bottling and capping up until recently, and have extremely small production capacity. We also use 100% organic ingredients, purchased with no volume discounts. I've purchased bombers of Stone IPA in the USA for 5 USD - we are a bit more - but not by much. We're trying to get a bit bigger, and someday we hope to lower our prices and do 4-packs, but we are not ready yet - no space and not enough cash...

    Hope this helps.

    daniel (le castor brewing)

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  10. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Pooh-Bah (2,322) Jan 26, 2013 Canada (NB)
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader's good to know that you guys aren't the root of the issue here. It would seem the issue is with the retailers then, because I am definitely seeing prices in the $9-10 range. Looks like it's time to find another source for your beer (perhaps a run to the brewery, seeing as how I only live a short drive away in Ottawa)

    Keep up the great work...I love Yakima, and your other offerings.
    danhamlet likes this.
  11. papat444

    papat444 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2006 Canada (QC)

    Awesome that you guys post here to inform your consumers. Wish more breweries would do the same!
    danhamlet likes this.
  12. danhamlet

    danhamlet Initiate (0) May 27, 2009 Canada (QC)

    Happy to respond to any questions you guys might have. I don't check beer advocate that often, so you can always post a link to the thread on our facebook page if there is something being discussed that would benefit from a reply. As for 9 or 10$ bottles of IPA - please let us know where you are seeing this, as this requires a conversation with the retailer. You can always email us at

    Thank you for your support - lots of stuff coming out this year that we're excited about!


  13. LarryAppleton

    LarryAppleton Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2012 Canada (QC)

    Quebec brewers get to work in a vacuum, so they can charge almost whatever they want. I buy close to my limit every time I cross into the US, where I can get a 6-pack of Founders, or Sierra Nevada for about 9$, as opposed to a sixer of DDC, which even though its cheaper than most microbrews here is still 14$ a sixer. 7$ for a bomber of Yakima is a lot, but at least its a good beer. I dont know whos buying all the other 7$+ bombers I see on the shelves.
  14. WilderPegasus

    WilderPegasus Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2012 Canada (ON)

    This is silly. With all the breweries in Quebec and the ease at which they can get their beer into retail outlets, unlike some other provinces, they do not work in a vacuum nor can they charge whatever they want.

    Try comparing beer prices in other provinces instead of other countries.
    Lurkaholic likes this.
  15. LarryAppleton

    LarryAppleton Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2012 Canada (QC)

    Its the same in all provinces. I didn't say quebec was alone. Its not about where else the brewers can sell their products, its about how no one else is allowed to sell their products in Quebec (or any other province).
  16. WilderPegasus

    WilderPegasus Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2012 Canada (ON)

    This might be an issue if there were very few craft breweries in Quebec but there isn't. There are lots of them.

    Let me make this simple for you. Saying that Quebec brewers can charge almost whatever they want demonstrates an ignorance of simple economics.
  17. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Pooh-Bah (2,322) Jan 26, 2013 Canada (NB)
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I am happy to say that at my favorite QC retailer in Aylmer (those in the region can probably figure out which one) the price of Yakima IPA is quite steady at $6.99 plus tax and deposit.
  18. Jones153

    Jones153 Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2012 Canada (QC)

    Quebec beers are priced too high but I figure it has to be the taxes more than anything.

    Some breweries will have to fix that issue because imports are starting to be cheaper and also with Inbev bringing in the goose island stuff, the 750ml of quebec beer priced way high will sit on the shelves.


    ah, local IGA.
    Lurkaholic likes this.
  19. papat444

    papat444 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2006 Canada (QC)

    Yep, see here :grinning:
    CurtisD likes this.
  20. Surfscience

    Surfscience Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2011 Canada (QC)

    For beer overpricing A la fut is the worst I have ever seen From day one they have been selling singles for like $3.50-5. They charge more than any other QC brewery and have been doing so since they started.
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