OTTAWA, Nov. 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 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.”

The 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 — equivelant to one out of every 100 jobs.

“Canada is known globally for making great beer,” said John Sleeman, Founder and Chair of Sleeman Breweries Ltd. and Chair of Beer Canada.  “But the impact of beer on Canada’s economy goes much further, supporting more than 160,000 jobs in every province and territory.”

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“Our knowledgeable brewmasters are fortunate to have ready access to the high quality malting barley grown in Western Canada and clean fresh water, two of the four key ingredients in beer,” continued Mr. Sleeman.

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.

“Brewers bring water and malt together with hops and yeast to make great beer which engages a value chain that creates jobs, economic wealth and tax revenues for every level of government.”


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).

Canadians drink 23 million hectolitres of beer a year on average, about 80 litres on an adult per capita basis. Beer is the most popular beverage alcohol product, accounting for 45% of all beverage alcohol sales according to Statistics Canada.

The study was commissioned by Beer Canada. It is publicly available at


SOURCE Conference Board of Canada


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