Saskatchewan brewer wins temporary injunction in Alberta over beer markup

Great Western Brewing Co.

A Saskatchewan brewer has won a temporary injunction to not pay Alberta's new flat rate markup on beer.

Saskatoon-based Great Western Brewing Co. will instead pay a reduced rate under an old sliding scale until both sides can air their full arguments in court next summer.

The head of the brewery, Michael Micovcin, says the $1.25 per litre flat rate imposed by the province in August contravenes free-trade rules and was having a significant impact on company sales.

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci brought in the flat rate while also introducing a rebate program to help out small-scale provincial brewers.

Previously, Alberta brewers paid less on the markup, with a sliding scale starting as low as 10 cents a litre.

Brewers in Saskatchewan and B.C. got the same deal under the free trade New West Partnership Agreement.

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