The province previously had buck-a-beer, but that was changed by the former Liberal government in 2008. "Instead we're going to do what we said we would do and put Ontario consumers first".
Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said there are no financial incentives from the government and the tax portion of the cost of beer is not being reduced.
Beer fans across Ontario can officially start counting down the days until the return of "Buck-a-Beer", the popular $1-per-beer price floor that delighted people across Ontario until it was cancelled when the previous government abruptly introduced new beer price regulations.
In order to encourage producers to lower their prices, Ford said his government would launch the buck-a-beer challenge, which would offer promotional programs, in-store displays and advertising to those who sell their beer at the minimum price.
How do you brew, bottle and sell beer for $1 that will attract consumers, taste reasonably decent and, at the end of the day, turn a profit? "This included a promise to bring "Buck-a-Beer" back to Ontario".
"I certainly don't want to have the same prices on my product as we did eight or nine years ago because the cost to produce that product has gone up significantly", said Paul Meek, owner of Kichesippi Beer Co. And he doubts many other brewers will take the premier's bait. However, Mr. Ford said he didn't think the lower prices would lead to more drinking and driving.
Currently, one of the lowest priced beers from an independent Ontario brewery is Cool Beer's Stonewall Light which retails at $1.45 per 275 ml bottle. "There should not be any government tax incentives to reduce the cost of alcohol", the statement went on to say. "I don't know if his plan was to make the breweries look greedy or just to underscore his populist direction, but it is ridiculous", he said, adding the move ignores the shift towards more complex and well-crafted beer.
Breweries in the province have also been outspoken against the challenge. "We believe in our brands, take pride in our quality and firmly feel that are current prices are very fair".