SAQ and dépanneur profits are soaring after Frosh beer-pricing move.
Local SAQ’s and dépanneurs are reporting windfall profits after the university administration’s decision to charge for beer on a per unit basis at this year’s Frosh Week.
Frosh activities traditionally built the cost of beer into a general admission fee, contributing to the perception of ‘free’ beer and encouraging an all-you-can-drink atmosphere.
The move to charge $2.50 per beer drove cost-savvy students to seek cheaper alternatives. “Sales of Bootlegger [a popular rum-flavoured malt liquour] went through the roof,” said Christian Depguy, owner of a dépanneur in the Milton-Parc community. The proprietor also reported an increase in sales of Black Bull, Molson, and Labatt 1.14 liter beer bottles, colloquially known as ‘forties.’
The SAQ was perhaps less prepared for the new policy. “They came in droves, dangerously sober and unsure of what they wanted,” said one SAQ manager. Pausing for a moment to reflect, he continued: “it was harrowing; these weren’t yuppies looking for a bottle of their favourite wine. It completely took us by surprise.”
The University offered no comment.
Critics of the Frosh changes cite the stress on discount liquor supplies as yet another example of an administration unwilling to consult with the community at large. “We heard a story of Froshies trying to catch a bus to the SAQ Dépot at Crémazie,” reported one community organizer. “They ended up in Anjou.”
It’s hard to tell what will await the next generation of cotton-mouthed first years. Needless to say, store owners will surely stock up for September 2012.