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Brussels White Jailed by the LCBO

July 16th, 2008 · 12 Comments

Brussels White has been scheduled to be part of the LCBO’s Summer 2008 seasonal beer release. There are a number of beers in this release, and many have shown up on LCBO shelves so far. Not Brussels White, however.

Brussels White, a beer which the LCBO has released before in the past (therefore presumably a successful offering), has been held up in the LCBO warehouse for a month and not being released to stores. The reason being, as explained by the beer’s importer, is that the beer has been tested with a higher alcohol percentage than declared on the label.

According to the LCBO’s chemical testing guidelines, a beer’s alcohol percentage must fall within +/- 0.3% if the beer is less than 5.6% alcohol, or within +/- 1.0% if the beer is greater than 5.6% alcohol. Since Brussels White is not a strong beer, it has been tested as being more than 0.3% higher than stated on the label. The label, it should also be mentioned, is one that Brussels White goes to the expense of printing specifically for the Canadian market to meet the LCBO’s standards.

The importer has been given two options from the LCBO: either pay $6900 to have the 800 cases of beer re-labeled with the accurate alcohol percentage, or have the beer destroyed (at the importer’s expense). This cost works out to be over $8 extra per case to apply the labels.

The LCBO is holding Brussels White hostage. A small alcohol variance is causing this successful beer which has sold well in the past and distributed all over the world, to be sitting in a warehouse. This site is called Free Our Beer. I can’t think of a more appropriate phrase to apply to this situation. Please continue the conversation at The Bar Towel or in the comment form here.

Tags: Brands · Government · LCBO

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