Two major events have taken place in the past two days that has effected and will continue to effect the lives of all British Columbians; The Vancouver Canucks failure to advance onto round three of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the BC Provincial Election, polling stations will be closing in less than one hour from now. In Chris’s absence I feel it is my duty to point out that although the Canucks were prematurely knocked out of the Stanley Cup race, they still made much it farther than the Toronto Maple Leafs did. These two events will drastically effect British Columbia’s beer industry, although it may not be obvious to all.
In Canada, hockey games draw excited sports fans to pubs, bars, restaurants and other drinking establishments wallpapered with LCD televisions, playoff games draw an even larger crowd. During an average Canucks playoff game, pubs in the Vancouver area experience up to a 70% increase in beer sales – big money is to be had in the playoffs. Now that the Canucks are no longer vying for the prized Stanley Cup, bars will cease to be filled with passionate hockey fans guzzling beer upon beer. In addition to the decline in draught beer sales, I would not be surprised if liquor stores also experience somewhat of a decrease in beer sales. Generally speaking the season finale of House is not an event that friends gather over and drink beer.
But Vancouver’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks is not all bad news. Dix BBQ, located next door to the Canucks’ home stadium, GM Place, will no longer have an excuse for canceling their weekly cask beer event held every Thursday. The weekly cask event was regularly superseded by Canucks home games to make room for hockey fans. I am a bigger beer fan than I am a hockey fan – so don’t hate me when I say that I’m not all that upset over the loss.
The BC Provincial Election, which the results of should be tabulated shortly, may also change BC’s beer industry. Carole James, the leader of BC’s NDP, has gone on record as saying that if the NDP are elected the price of an average six-pack at a private liquor store could jump as much as three dollars. I am not entirely sure where the Liberal or Green parties stand on this price increase, but from my limited understanding of BC politics I don’t think either party has any plans that would result in more expensive beer. British Colombian’s are already heavily taxed on alcohol sales – please don’t increase beer prices. This new pricing is somewhat reminiscent of North America’s short lived temperance movement that succeeded in total prohibition – it also comes across as a “sin tax”. Beer is part of a healthy diet and should not be priced at a level where the general public is discouraged from enjoying a beer as part of their day to day diet.
This is a big week for British Columbia. Die hard Canucks fans; I am sorry for your loss, there is always next year. Empowered voters; if the election does not go your way, four years isn’t that long.