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

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

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Slava Doval and her youth group DanceFusion got an emotional response from residents at Mountain Lakes Seniors Community on April 30. Photo: Submitted
‘It touched me deeply’: Youth dancers perform at Nelson seniors home

Slava Doval’s DanceFusion danced outdoors for Mountain Lake residents

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read