25 years ago Alberta changed how beer was sold.
Prices for consumers went up.

Premier Ralph Klein privatized Alberta’s alcohol sales in 1993. Since then, consumer prices have continued to rise. After a public outcry, the Klein government had to cut taxes to keep prices down. Today – they’re still higher than Ontario.

The Facts on Beer in Alberta Today:

An outline illustration of a 24 bottle case of beer.


A 24-Pack From A Private Liquor Store In Alberta Can Cost Over $10 More Than The Same Brand At The Beer Store.*

*Average price for 24 bottles or cans (which ever is cheaper) of Budweiser and Coors Light for January 2019 (5 weeks). Consumer Price Reflects Sales Taxes And Deposit Included.

Ontario Alberta
Source Beer Store Liquor Store
Advertised Price $38.75 $46.43
Consumer Price $38.75 $51.15
Total Taxes $15.61 $15.72
Price without
taxes or deposit
$20.74 $33.03
Source Advertised
Price without
taxes or deposit
Ontario Beer Store $38.75 $38.75 $15.61 $20.74
Alberta Liquor Store $46.43 $51.15 $15.72 $33.03

“Premier Ralph Klein said Monday he wants to consult with Steve West, minister responsible for Alberta Liquor Control Board, about lowering prices after complaints.”

“Liquor Tax Complaints Win Premier’s Ear.”

Calgary Herald, Jan. 18, 1994

“Prices are higher with private, stand-alone liquor stores because higher total overhead costs must be passed on to the consumer.”

Colin Boyd

Edwards School of Management, University of Saskatchewan

“Alberta liquor is not cheaper." Star Phoenix, Jan. 11, 2011

Government lost tax revenue

Since privatization, Alberta has forgone $5 Billion* in potential tax revenues thanks to tax cuts which were required to keep consumer prices down.

*Assumes Alberta alcohol revenues per LLA increased with inflation

A line graph comparing potential and actual liquor revenue.

Private stores in Alberta have higher overhead costs than The Beer Store. Why? The Beer Store distributes higher volumes of product and has state-of-the-art processes that keep costs down - that keeps prices down for consumers.