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

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

Kieran Christison, manager of Daybreak Farms in Terrace inspects eggs on Oct. 30, 2020. Christison wants to transition to a zero waste, cage-free facility. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Daybreak Farms aiming to achieve zero-waste, cage-free facility

Kieran Christison, manager, presented the farm’s future plans to Terrace city council

Mercedes Trigo, assistant manager, said that Trigo’s Lifestyle Store in Terrace has experienced four broken windows and an attempted break-in recently, leaving her feeling unsupported by bystanders and the police. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Trigo’s management frustrated by property damage, theft

In a little over a month there have been four broken windows and an attempted break-in at the store

Two RCMP officers have been recognized for their actions in responding to an incident involving a man with a weapon at 4501 Park Ave. on the afternoon of April 27, 2020. RCMP say it was an isolated incident and there is no danger to the general public. (Jake Wray photo)
Terrace RCMP officers recognized for acts of bravery

Two involved in arrest of armed suspect

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read