I like Troy and Cass as much as anyone and consider them a two-headed monster that has pushed and pulled and tugged Ontario into the good beer revolution as much as anyone else in recent years. But I can't go along with Troy's approval of Cass's post entitled "Bring On the Expensive Beer":
Not only are we seeing more and more super-premium beers with prices to match, but we’re seeing something just as remarkable. They are all selling. Fast. Why is this a good thing? Well, its indicative that the Ontario beer drinking market is accepting to more premium-priced beers, which bodes well for the mission of Free Our Beer. You see, if we are to be successful with a goal with any form of private beer retail – drinkers will need to pay higher prices for good products.
I simply do not agree. There are too many factors which go into the cost of beer that do not align good beer with expensive beer... and the hint for me that this point might have been missed is the use of that pesky word "premium." See, I can go south into New York State and easily pay a lot less for a lot more in quality. Sure, there will be more to pay in a small shop for a a few great imported brews like Bernadrus 12 than the LCBO is offering right now at $3.45 for 330 ml but there is a lot less to be paid for most NY made beers which offer such a range of delights that even with the improvement in Ontario's good beer supply that I still have bought over 75% of my beer stash over there. And I can buy some of them in grocery stores and in gas stations, not just at specialty shops. Lower taxes, lower transportation costs and lower markup because a place like Wegman's also buys in bulk are at play. And, for me, that is the hallmark of a mature beer culture.
I don't disagree with Cass that there are a few highly expensive beers that one may buy a bottle of on the rare occasion. But it represents such a small part of the overall good beer market - and is too often the cause of one's greatest disappointment - that I simply cannot accept it as a principle going forward. Bring me my six pack of good beer in a grocery store for an honest price. Bring me my arrow of desire. That is the new Jerusalem.