Joe Wiebe, one of the directors of Victoria Beer Week, speaks to the crowd at an event last year at the Victoria Public Market. Among Canadians, British Columbians purchase the least amount of beer as a share of total sales. Christian Tisdale Photography

British Columbians drink less beer than other Canadians

Despite proliferation of micro-breweries, B.C. records lowest share of beer sold in Canada

British Columbians — surprisingly — do not appear to like beer, as they buy less than other Canadians as a share of total sales.

According to new figures from Statistics Canada, beer accounted for 34 per cent of all alcohol sales in British Columbia in 2017-2018, the least among Canadian provinces and territories. Beer accounted for 60.7 per cent of all alcohol sales in Nunavut.

Total beer sales have generally remained flat across Canada. Total beer sales rose 0.8 per cent to $9.2 billion during 2017-2018, and one per cent over the past 10 years, a figure that will likely strike many as surprising when held up against the proliferation of micro-breweries and beer varieties, especially in B.C. Beer’s overall share is 39.7 per cent of alcohol sales across the country.

RELATED: B.C. locations listed among top beer cities in Canada

Wine, by contrast, is becoming increasingly popular, while not yet replacing beer. During 2017-2018, wine sales grew 4.6 per cent to $7.5 billion. As a share of the overall market, wine sales increased 0.4 per cent to account for 32.4 per cent of total alcoholic beverage sales.

Among Canadian provinces and territories, wine was most popular in Quebec, where the sales share reached 43.8 per cent. Saskatchewan buys the least amount of wine, accounting for 15.2 per cent.

When drinking wine, Canadians prefer red over white, with reds accounting for 52.8 per cent of total sales, followed by white wines (32.2 per cent) and sparkling wines (5.9 per cent). Rosé, fortified and other wines accounted for the remaining wine sales.

Spirits, meanwhile, accounted for 23.7 per cent of total alcohol sales in 2017-2018, up from 23.4 per cent in 2016-2017. Ciders, coolers and other refreshment beverages accounted for 4.2 per cent of total sales of alcohol in 2017/2018, up from four per cent in 2016-2017.

In total, liquor stores, agencies and other retail outlets sold $23.2 billion worth of alcoholic beverages, up 3.1 per cent from the previous year. The government’s cut, meanwhile, rose by two per cent to $12.2 billion in 2017-2018.

Overall, the volume of alcohol sold reached 3,098 million litres — the equivalent of about 507 standard drinks per person over the legal drinking age in Canada.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read