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Beer Importing – The Pricing Estimate

May 9th, 2009 · 2 Comments

As you can imagine, a lot goes into the price of a case of beer that you pay.  It starts, of course, with the cost from the brewery itself.  I’m sure this is the case with many industries – the original price is topped up with all kinds of stuff, just like an airplane ticket.

On top of the base price there’s freight, or the cost to ship the beer from the original brewery to here.  Then there’s the excise tax, which is a federal cost per litre applied to the beer.  With Garrison, this was already paid since they’re a Canadian brewery and as such did not apply.

The LCBO takes some “cost of service” as well – markups specifically for In Store Cost of Service and Out of Store Cost of Service.  Not sure what exactly that goes towards, but I can make an educated guess that it’s to help fund their business.  Since the Garrison order was private and would not go in store, that cost of service did not apply, but the out of store did.

There’s also something called a “Basic Fee” and a “Volume Levy”.  If the bottles are non-refillable, there’s an environmental levy as well, but since Garrison’s are that didn’t apply.  Finally there’s the bottle deposit, which of course consumers get back.

And don’t forget about taxes.  You’ve got GST at 5% (the LCBO’s worksheet was wrong, it listed 7% and I corrected it), and PST, which on alcohol is 12% in Ontario.

After all that I was finally able to arrive at a price which was published along with the available brands at the launch of the private order.  I’m sure I’ll get more familiar with what all the costs apply to as we go along.  But I’ve quickly learned that there’s no handbook or manual to working with the LCBO – it’s a big organization with many people and you might get different answers depending on who you talk with.

I sure hope, for the sake of the order and everyone who participated in it, that the Excel file that was given to me was accurate.

Beer Importing is an ongoing series documenting the process of importing beer through the LCBO.  This particular series documents a private order of Garrison beers from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Tags: Importing

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ian // Feb 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    would you have that excel file available for download somewhere?


  • 2 Steph // Jul 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I would also be interested in the excel file. Thanks
    I am still not sure how profitable it is to be an agent?