Albertans’ taste for beer wanes, but craft beer becoming more popular

March 28, 2012 | By | Reply More

Albertans kicked back an average of 86.2 litres of beer per person in 2011


The Village Brewery was started by a group of friends in Calgary who wanted to make great beer locally. Photo: Village Brewery

Troy Media – by ATB Financial     

Yesterday we pointed out that wine consumption of Albertans has skyrocketed over 1,000 per cent since 1950, from 1.4 to 16.2 litres per person annually.

However, the same cannot be said for wine’s somewhat less sophisticated bar room sister – beer.

According to Statistics Canada, Albertans kicked back an average of 86.2 litres of beer per person in 2011. That’s almost unchanged from the 88.5 litres per person recorded back in 1950. The most voracious beer drinkers in Canada are in the Yukon, at a frothy 136.8 litres per person. Interestingly, the least likely beer drinkers are right next door in the Northwest Territories, at a mere 73.2 litres.

The chart shows Alberta’s beer consumption rising modestly during the 1960s and 1970s, during a period in which the province was removing some of its very restrictive rules around selling and serving alcohol. (It wasn’t until 1967 that men and women were allowed together in “beverage rooms”!)

The most striking feature of the graph is the pronounced drop in beer consumption in 1981, when Albertans were able to swig back only 72 litres per person. That year was marked by a beer strike in the province, and imported or out-of-province beers were less common.

Given the number of craft beer markets and specialized products cropping up throughout Alberta lately, it appears that tastes in beer are becoming more discerning. Albertans still like their brew, but they may be appreciating quality over quantity.


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Category: Alberta, Business

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