This has led many thirsty New Brunswickers to drive a little bit more to secure suds at cheaper prices. Now, the government of New Brunswick doesn't like this one bit, because the only place you can buy beer in the province is at NB liquor stores - stores which managed to lose $12 million last year.
Yes, they have a monopoly on alcohol sales, and they still managed to lose money. That takes serious talent.
So, the solution to stop New Brunswickians from giving their money to Quebec convenience stores and government? The government starts to make its own line of beers to sell at the price floor. Duh. Note that competing beers have to apply to government to sell at the minimum price, and can only do so for a limited period of time.
So not only is the government spending the taxpayer dime to make beer (which the government contracts out to Moosehead), but it is forcing other beer makers out of business in the process. How does one possibly defend this policy?
UPDATE: From the government website promoting the new beers:
Why did ANBL choose to create and market its own beer instead of dropping the price of currently available beers?
ANBL has launched Selection Lager and Selection Light to provide New Brunswick consumers with an everyday low-price alternative in the domestic beer category. Our plans include the introduction of cooking and drinking recipes, because suggested use is the best way to grow volume. This way, we can effectively counteract the decline in the domestic beer market in New Brunswick. Simply lowering the price of existing brands would only result in a share battle.
POSTSCRIPT: Note that the government of Newfoundland manufactures Iceberg and Screech products through the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation as well! I believe it is unique among Canadian provinces in this regard?