AGLC to increase Liquor Mark-Ups

As part of the Budget 2015, the Government of Alberta has directed the AGLC to increase the liquor mark-up to meet its revenue expectations and ensure the support for the programs and services that Albertans rely on every day. The mark-up increase is expected to generate approximately $39 million in additional revenue annually.

The liquor mark-up increase is a 24-cent/litre for spirits, wine and refreshment beverages and a 5-cent/litre for beers receiving the standard mark-up.

The impact on wholesale prices is minimal:

  • o   Approximately 2 cents increase for a bottle of beer; 21 cents for a case (dozen)
  • o   Approximately 18 cents increase for a bottle of wine
  • o   Approximately 18 cents increase for a bottle of spirits.

It is important to note that the new rates still generally reflect the amount of pure alcohol in any liquor product. This is key to the AGLC’s social responsibility mandate, and is in line with many efforts that promote responsible liquor sales and consumption, including the Alberta Alcohol Strategy.

Other changes and additions:

Budget 2015 includes changes to the small brewer mark-up policy to focus the program on breweries that are located in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan -- provinces that are party to the New West Partnership.

There will be distinct mark-up rates for brewers’ Annual Worldwide Production (AWP) levels as follows:

  • 10 cents per litre for up to 10,000 hL AWP;
  • 30 cents per litre for AWP over 10,000 hL and up to 50,000 hL;
  • 55 cents per litre for AWP over 50,000 hL and up to 200,000 hL; and
  • $1.25 per litre (standard mark-up rate) for AWP over 200,000 hL.

Each brewer will receive a unique mark-up rate based on its production volumes and a combination of the above rates. In this new system, small brewers maintain the benefit of each production threshold as they grow.

Changes to the small brewer mark-up policy respond to the concerns of the industry by focusing on local manufacturing and strengthening the eligibility criteria for reduced rates. These changes also further encourage economic diversification by creating value-add opportunities and jobs across a wide-range of sectors. Additionally, these changes honour Alberta’s New West Partnership commitments.

Budget 2015 also includes the introduction of a small distiller mark-up policy, which will include a new lower mark-up rate for Alberta’s small distilleries (producing under 10,000 hectolitres a year).  This policy will support economic diversification as it encourages small Alberta businesses to grow and succeed, and will support a vibrant liquor manufacturing industry that includes well-established large and small manufacturers – all of which are an important part of Alberta’s liquor industry. More information on this new policy will be shared as it is implemented.

More information:

The new rates are effective as of October 28, 2015. A detailed liquor mark-up schedule is attached. The AGLC is in the process of communicating the increase to all liquor licensees and registered agencies.