Barley Mowat 

Focus on the LDB IV

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Q4 isn’t just the best retail sales quarter for normal merchants; it’s also the home stretch for merchants of the boozier variety. Not only do liquor sales sky-rocket during December, but liquor consumption rises hand in hand. As well, the booze consumed is generally a bit higher end on average, as people seem inexplicably willing to share The Good Stuff with that lousy alcoholic, Drunk Uncle Chuck.

So it’s no surprise that, with Christmas just around the corner, the LDB has massively updated their website advertising with all kinds of suggestions on how you should spend your fist full of cash bills (or “beer coupons”, as I like to call them).

How does beer stack up here? I’m hoping much better than usual, since unlike wine and liquor, beer 100% does come in Christmas variants, and there are lots of those available on the market right now. Let’s tally things up for my running LDB ad counter:

Ad 1: 36 page Holiday Gift Guide. This is a mini-version of the quarterly Taste magazine, distilled down to just product shots and tasting notes. In its thirty-six pages of booze photographed in front of background Christmas decorations, we are instructed to purchase: 15 types of Liquor, 28 types of Wine, and zero types of beer. I mean, you don’t want offend your friends and family by getting them beer, do you?

Ad 2: Just in case the glossy book wasn’t enough, we have a dedicated ad showing off the best hard liquor to slide under the tree. Oh wait, did I say best? I meant cheapest (see also: “Russian Standard Vodka“; $24.99 per 750ml)

Ad 3: This just links to a page of links to other ads, both current and from the past. Very meta, LDB.

Ad 4: Cute bears for charities. Sure, it’s not beer, but aaawwwwwww.

I’m not even kidding. Those things are adorable.

Ad 5: Gifts for the Season. Oh. Wow. It took a few months, but there it is. Amoung a list of booze apparently picked simply because they come in boxes, we find not one, but two beers: Historic Ales from Scotland, and Innis & Gunn 2010. Considering they’re lumped in with the “Palm Bay Holiday Pack” at the end of the list this isn’t quite the massive yay-beer victory we’ve been holding out for, but I will count it in the beer column none-the-less. But only as 2/14 of a point, to reflect all the Not Beer in there.

Ad 6: Don’t drink and drive. Hard to argue with that one.

Ad 7: A summary of “best sellers”, but strictly limited to wine. This is because a top 10 list of the LDB’s best selling SKUs would be entirely beer, but you can’t admit that can you?

So what’s the tally?

Liquor: +2.0 (1/2 of #1, 1/2 of #5)
Wine: +2.0 (1/2 of #1, 1/2 of #5)
Beer: +0.14 — We’re on the board! Yeah!
Corporate: +3

This brings our running total to:

Liquor: 8 (+2)
Corporate: 10 (+3)
Wine: 17 (+2)
Beer: 0.14 (+0.14)

Yeah! Progress! And now, continuing my trend of pointing out all the great beer the LDB could be featuring but elect to avoid talking about in polite company. Let’s see what’s available right now!

Beer 1: Parallel 49 Dark Christmas Cascadian Dark Ale

Look! It’s a beer with “Christmas” right in its name! How much more could you ask for in a booze-themed Christmas present? Add to that that this beer is a delicious example of an emergent style and that it’s the beer that set off the recent Cascadia kerfuffle, and you have not just something to drink, but something to talk about.

Price: $5.50 for 650ml
Availability: Widely Available

Beer 2: Dead Frog Fearless IPA

Could this be the beer that makes us take Dead Frog seriously? Perhaps, but only if you buy it. Luckily for you, this excellent IPA is available widely in the LDB, and for cheap!

Price: $4.99 for 650ml
Availability: Widely Available

Beer 3: Granville Island Imperial Chocolate Stout

In the past this beer has been gord-awful, with a cloyingly sweet milk chocolate body that just can’t stop yelling “Look at me! I’m Chocolate!” This year, though, they amped up the booze and dialed back the chocolate and we have a nicely balanced, warming winter ale, in which it’s hard to tell where the cocoa’s bitterness ends and the hops’ begins.

Price: $5.75 for 650ml
Availability: Widely Available

Written by chuck

December 4th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Beer and You,Beers

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One Response to 'Focus on the LDB IV'

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  1. Do you know what the LDB’s markup on beer is? I know it’s 123% for wine and $170 for spirits…maybe the LDB just takes for granted that people buy beer sans advertising, or maybe they make less profit per shelf space vs other alcohol?


    4 Dec 12 at 17:25

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