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Mind the Beer Budget

Why does Alberta suddenly have one of the highest alcohol prices in Canada?

We often think of BC and Ontario as having higher alcohol prices due to their provincial monopoly, and isn’t Alberta’s free-market approach supposed to help keep our prices in check?

Unfortunately thanks to an astronomically high US dollar and the plummeting price of oil, Alberta’s alcohol prices are feeling the heat.

The Calgary Sun recently published an article outlining the cost per province of some of the most popular alcoholic items, and Alberta by far pays  the highest cost, tied with the Yukon.

Here is a visual of how much more we are paying here in Alberta using two popular products, Mission Hill 5 Vineyards and Molson Canadian:

Graph based on data taken from a recent Calgary Sun article

Quoting the recent Calgary Sun article on the topic “People are still drinking, but finding it cheaper to drink at home”. Well, if we follow this statement to its logical conclusion, then certainly making wine or beer at home would be even cheaper.

Even when the one-time costs for equipment are factored in, the cost per bottle can still end up saving you money, meaning that in the long run, once your equipment is purchased, your wine habit barely needs to make a dent in your budget.

Price breakdown for a homemade kit:

One Time Costs:

  • Starter kit, including all equipment necessary: $99.95
  • Beer Bottles: 500ml bottles $1.83 each, $84.14 per kit
  • Wine Bottles: 750ml bottle $1.41 each, $42.38 per kit

 Costs not Including Equipment:

  • Caps: $5.00 for 150, $1.53 per kit
  • Corks: $6.95 for 30, 30 per kit
  • Cost of a Winexpert wine kit: $56.95 – $187.95
  • Cost of a Winexpert beer kit $37.95 – $82.95

For a first time winemaker you’re looking at $6.87- $11.24 cost per 750ml bottle, and beer comes out to $4.86 – $5.84 per 500ml bottle.For your second time around that price plummets to $2.13-$6.50/750ml for wine and $1.84 – $2.46/500ml (almost double the store bought size!) for beer.

Now you’re thinking yes, but homemade wine can’t be that good, can it? You’re not wrong, but only because as with everything, not all home wine kits are created equal. As for our wine kits, we’ve conducted several blind taste tests and can confirm that our mid-range Winexpert kits taste like a $30 store bought variety. Now, add in the recent and projected inflation on Alberta alcohol prices and that $30 bottle is looking more like a $40 bottle. That’s some serious value!

For beer lovers, our basic beer kits (still better than Bud!) are about half as much as their storebought counterparts and our premium kits show even more value. Currently, we are working with Paddock Wood brewers to bring you the best, cutting edge craft beer styles.

Try it for yourself! Grab a store bought bottle and taste test for your friends! Just don’t forget to throw some paper bags over the bottles to prevent bias. Let us know what you compared, and which bottle came out ahead, we’re on Twitter and Facebook!

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