Are all of you guys unemployed or something? How anyone can think that a $3.00 bottle of beer is out of reach financially is beyond me. Many of the products we import come in around this price and higher. If $3.00 is too rich for your blood then I must assume that most of you have never tasted a Trappist or a Duvel or a Rogue in Ontario. And as to going to Buffalo, Cass, your section on Premier Gourmet shows the kind of pricing you end up with buying in Buffalo. A 750ml bottle of New Glarus which I could offer at about $8.00 comes in at $17.87 plus the cost of gas to drive to Buffalo not to mention the time to get there and back....what a deal!!!!
Josh, you mention "other beers from the west coast" but in fact only Anchor from the U.S. west coast is available in Ontario so there is very little basis for comparison. I am very familiar with Anchor and know Fritz Maytag and also have a passing knowledge of their pricing. They are doing something quite funny in Canada and I can only assume that it is for marketing reasons. There is no way Anchor should be selling at these low prices here so you should all be happy that Anchor is a bargain here but that has no bearing on real pricing out there. The LCBO did carry the PIKE PALE ALE several years ago and the price then was $3.95 for a 650ml and today would be around $4.95. If I were bringing the Pike IPA to the LCBO today and they were going to buy several hundred cases we could probably get the price down to about $2.50 for a 355ml bottle but you must understand that with some volume and retail distribution I can afford to make only $2.00 a case in commission (that's the truth!!!)but if anyone wants me to bring in 5 or 10 cases I'm not going to do it for $10 or $20 dollars as the paperwork and effort is simply not worth it. For such orders I have to charge a reasonable amount for my time and effort which results in price in the range quoted.
Jon, you also wonder why I would want to represent a beer that is so expensive and why the LCBO would buy it and you mention pushing the price up to $4-6 per bottle. The price I am quoting includes the LCBO markup and all taxes so I think you misunderstand. I sell products like Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Rogue, Mort Subite,Samuel Smith and many othersand they rrtail for comparable prices so I can only assume that you either don't shop at the LCBO or that you only buy domestic micros because these prices are not out of line. As for spending your money at Premier, good luck bringing back a Pike IPA for less than $3.00...it ain't gonna happen!
In any case, there is no money in this for me and I was only offering to do a service for interested parties. I get calls every week from people in Quebec who would gladly pay $100 per case for some of our products. In fact, this past weekend I had several cases of beer in my car which were picked up by Quebecers who had ordered from me and met me at the Capital City Beer Fest.
Josh, in regards to your comments about Rochefort, we sell it to the LCBO and we have recently sold it to the BCLDB. The base price to both liquor boards is the same. The LCBO is not buying "enormous" quantities so they are not getting any price break. The fact is that the LCBO system is efficient to the extent that we have few costs associated with doing business in small quantities and there are not as many layers of distribution as there are in the U.S. so the prices are very reasonable. B.C. prices will be quite a bit higher because we must pay the additional freight from Belgium (and it's substantial) and we must also warehouse the product in Vancouver, someting which the LCBO does free of charge. I don't understand your comment about their not being an LCBO markup because of a duopoly. Every bottle of beer sold in the LCBO or the Beer Store contains and LCBO markup.
The bottom line is that we are able to offer some great products at what are great prices to anyone who is interested and prepared to pay a reasonable amount of money for those products.