Sons Of Kent Founder Not On Buck-A-Beer Bandwagon

Sons of Kent Brewing. June 17, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent).

One of the founders of the Sons of Kent Brewing Company in Chatham says he won’t be taking Premier Doug Ford up on his offer to participate in the government’s “buck-a-beer” plan.

The Ontario premier announced on Tuesday that, as of August 27, the government is lowering the minimum price floor of beer from $1.25 to $1.00. The price floor will affect beer with an alcohol percentage below 5.6%.

“We will definitely not be participating. It’s not our customer that’s going to seek out a buck-a-beer. Our customers look for a quality craft beer, one that uses quality ingredients. I can’t see anyone in the craft business being able to stay in business making a buck a beer,” says Tim Copeland.

Copeland says Sons of Kent prices currently range from $2.90 to $3.25 for a 473ml can of beer at LCBO and Beer Stores across the province.

Ford announced that he is also offering incentives to brewing companies, which include LCBO promotional considerations like “limited-time discounts, in-store displays on end aisles and shelf extenders, or advertising in LCBO flyers and newspaper inserts.”

Copeland doesn’t seem too enticed by the incentives that come along with the challenge.

“I usually shop in the craft section. I know the LCBO does have some value brands, but I think it’s more the Beer Store that actually people are buying beers by the case,” he says. “I think that’s where you’re going to see most of the buck-a-beer product.”

Copeland isn’t worried he’ll lose any business by not following along with Ford’s efforts to lower beer prices.

“I think we’ll probably gain business, to be honest with you,” he says. “When you cheapen a product, you cheapen the taste and we’re all about taste and craft. I think that’s gonna keep people running to us.”

-With files from Scott Kitching