Media release: calling on governments to Freeze It For Them

More tax increases will set Canadian beer drinkers, bar and restaurant servers, and other industries hit hard by the COVID-19 economic crisis back even further

OTTAWA, ONT. – September 30, 2020 – To support Canada’s economic recovery, protect and create jobs, and keep dollars in the pockets of Canadians, Beer Canada is calling on governments across the country to freeze beer tax increases.

Beer Canada, with the support of a growing number of partners, is leading “Freeze it for Them” – a campaign designed to showcase the seed to sip role beer plays in building our economy and keeping life affordable. 

“Canadian consumers, small businesses and the thousands of people working in areas hit hardest by the pandemic – restaurants, hospitality, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and transportation – need our support,” said Luke Chapman, Interim President of Beer Canada. “Freezing beer tax increases is one small, no-cost decision that federal and provincial governments can make to provide some relief where it’s needed most.”

More than 149,000 Canadians work in jobs directly or indirectly supported by the production and sale of beer. The industry is supported by 10 million beer drinkers across the country who send almost half their beer money to federal and provincial governments with a tax rate that is nearly half of beer’s retail price and nearly five times higher than our neighbours in the United States.

Freeze it for them is supported by farming groups, bar and restaurant owners, tourism and hospitality associations, manufacturers, brewers, and industry representatives, including:

  • Barley Council of Canada 
  • Grain Growers of Canada
  • Restaurants Canada
  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association
  • Drinks Ontario
  • Service Inspired Restaurants
  • Firkin Pubs
  • Alliance of Beverage Licensees 
  • Owens-Illinois 
  • Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association 
  • British Columbia Restaurant & Foodservices Association
  • Manitoba Hotel Association
  • Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association
  • British Columbia Hotel Association
  • Tourism Industry Association of BC
  • Halifax Chamber of Commerce

“Canadian brewers provide a reliable high value market to barley farmers; barley farmers, in turn, provide brewers with one of the primary ingredients for beer. When beverage alcohol taxes go up every year, that not only makes drinks less affordable for Canadians but also hurts the livelihoods of Canadian barley farmers.” – Zenneth Faye, Chair, Barley Council of Canada

“Surely, amid a global pandemic and a once-a-century economic downturn, there is cause to stop an automatic tax increase to ensure we help everyday Canadians to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. That’s why asking the government to freeze this unfair tax increase to give consumers a break and to support the economic recovery of Canadian bars, restaurants and domestic producers.” – Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“For the 1,200,000 servers and bartenders who serve our beer – freeze it for them.” – Larry Isaacs, Firkin Group of Pubs

The campaign will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months as part of a multi-channel marketing approach by Here for Beer, an online community of 130,000+ beer enthusiasts run by Beer Canada. For more information, visit


  • 47% of the price of beer in Canada is government tax
  • 85% of the beer consumed in Canada is made here
  • 57,000 restaurant and hospitality jobs are supported by the sale of beer
  • 35,000 retail sector jobs are supported by the sale of beer.
  • 23,000 Canadian barley farmers sell 300,000 tonnes of malting barley directly to Canadian brewers
  • 9,000 wholesale and distribution jobs are supported by the beer economy
  • 1,400 small and medium-sized businesses supply Canadian breweries with products and services



Beer Canada is the voice of the people who make our nation’s beers. Our members account for 90% of the beer produced in Canada. The sale of beer supports 149,000 Canadian jobs, generates $14 billion in Gross Domestic Product and $5.7 billion in government tax revenues. 

Beer Canada has represented Canadian brewers since 1943 and offers the most comprehensive and timely statistical overview of monthly and annual trends in the beer industry.


Dana Miller
Director, Communications and Engagement
Beer Canada
[email protected]

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