Big Rock Brewery Announces Layoffs Due To Increase in Provincial Beer Tax

CALGARY, AB – Big Rock Brewery has announced that it is undertaking “significant cost-cutting measures, including reductions to the Corporation’s workforce,” with Alberta’s provincial beer tax being blamed for the move.

According to a press release:

The 104% increase in the net Alberta beer mark-up (provincial tax) imposed on Big Rock by the previous Government of Alberta in late 2018 (being a 160% increase since 2016) has forced the Corporation’s senior management to take immediate cost-cutting measures as the increase in the tax on Big Rock’s beer in Alberta has eroded the profitability achieved by Big Rock in 2018.

Alberta’s beer mark-up structure has undergone a number of changes over the past several years, with some implementations facing legal challenges from out-of-province breweries and import agents who felt that Alberta-based breweries were given preferential treatment.

The current scheme which was introduced last November features a graduated markup of 10 to 60 cents per litre for all breweries in Alberta or elsewhere that produce less than 50,000 hectolitres annually, while those above that threshold – including Big Rock – have a mark-up of $1.25 per litre.

Full details on the cuts at Big Rock, including the number of staff who will be laid off and other measures that are being taken, have not been released by the company.

Source: Big Rock Brewery press release

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