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How cold beer makes Canada’s economy hop

The beer economy acconts for one in 100 Canadian jobs, or almost 1 per cent of gross domestic product, says a new report from the Conference Board of Canada.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Canada likes to be known as a country where hockey is king and the beer is good.

And while it's been 20 years since a team from Canada won the Stanley Cup, Canadians can take some solace in a new report that lays out the economic impact of the beer industry.

The beer economy accounts for one in 100 Canadian jobs, or almost 1 per cent of gross domestic product, says a new report from the Conference Board of Canada that tracks the economic spinoffs of the brewing industry from the barley field to beer fridge.

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"When you purchase a bottle of beer, you are supporting not only the Canadian brewing industry, but also many other industries along the value chain – the indirect benefit to the economy of beer," said the report, which says every $1 spent on beer generates $1.12 in the economy.

-Each Canadian bought equivalent of 235 bottles of beer in 2012.

-The "beer economy" has 163,200 jobs and acconts for 0.9 per cent of Canadian gross domestic product.

-Governments get 44 cents of every dollar Canadians spend on beer.

-The beer industry generates $5.8-billion in taxes each year.

-Per-capita beer consumption is highest in Yukon at 385 bottles a year.

-Beer consumption is lowest in B.C. at 205 per person.

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But while beer is the alcoholic beverage of choice, brewers are losing market share as wine grows in popularity.

Statistics Canada said earlier this year wine sales in 2012 rose by almost 6 per cent, outpacing the 0.6-per-cent rise in beer sales. Sales of spirits rose by 3.9 per cent.

In 2002, beer's market share by dollar value was 50 per cent of the alcohol market. This number had declined to 44 per cent by 2012.

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