Dead Frog Brewery owner Derrick Smith at a giveaway to frontline workers last year. (Langley Advance Times files)

Dead Frog Brewery owner Derrick Smith at a giveaway to frontline workers last year. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley brewery says annual beer tax hike hurts businesses

Dead Frog is one of the breweries pushing against a federal excise tax increase

The owner of a prominent Langley brewery is one of a number in the industry calling for a roll-back of an annual increase in a federal tax on beer this year.

Derrick Smith, CEO of Dead Frog Brewery, said the excise duty on beer is the only tax that increases every year as a result of inflation.

“This is death by a thousand cuts,” Smith said. “No other tax does this.”

He noted that leaves breweries facing a choice every year – absorb the cost, or pass it along to their customers.

Beer Canada, an industry group, is asking that the tax be rolled back this year in the government’s next federal budget, which is expected this month.

“Continuing to raise taxes on beer in the middle of the pandemic is counterproductive to the government’s goal of supporting the recovery of Canada’s hardest-hit businesses, including restaurants and bars,” said Luke Chapman, interim president of Beer Canada. “The last thing Canadians need right now is higher taxes.”

The tax was introduced in March 2017 and automatically increases annually on April 1.

The tax is applied at the brewery level, so consumers don’t see it on their receipt at the liquor store or pub.

READ MORE: Langley’s Dead Frog Brewery offers free six packs to people on the front lines of COVID-19

The tax is coming as brewers are expecting to see a hit from restrictions rising across the country as COVID numbers spike in Canada’s most populous provinces. B.C., Quebec, and Ontario have all increased restrictions recently to halt the spread of the virus, including a ban on indoor dining again in B.C.

Smith noted that the tax increase will come as Dead Frog has had to shut down its tasting room to comply with the newly-tightened regulations.

“Bars and restaurants, in particular, have been very hard hit, and they’re going to need the support of all their suppliers – including beer manufacturers,” said Andrew Oland, President & CEO of Moosehead Breweries. “Brewers across the country are finding ways to provide support and help our bar and restaurant partners, but we need the government to step up and create conditions that allow us to continue supporting the recovery. Raising beer taxes does the exact opposite.”

Smith said that the Canadian Craft Brewery Association is also working have the excise duty removed completely from any brewer that produces less than 10,0000 hectolitres per year.

He estimates that would allow community based brewers to save and contribute up to $30,000 a year more into local economies.

Beer Canada’s ongoing campaign against the excise tax increase is dubbed the Freeze it for Them campaign, and has been gathering signatures at

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Craft beerLangleytaxes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Constituent does not consider MP’s ‘unclean’ use a slur

Local letter writer said the biblical quote was not an insult to gay MP

A Worksafe BC temporary closure order posted on the front entrance of the Langley Canadian Tire on Thursday, April 29. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
First Langley business in several days hit by COVID-19 closure order

A plumbing company is the latest to have to shut down temporarily

Acting RCMP Supt. Bhatti told council property crime in Langley City took a “significant” drop in the first three months of the year, but the number of mail theft incidents more than doubled (City of Langley video feed)
VIDEO: Property crime drops in Langley City: report

Reduction called ‘significant’ by acting officer in charge of Langley RCMP detachment

Matt Trulsen of Maple Ridge went on from the PJHL to excel in junior college hockey in the U.S. (Dakota College at Bottineau/Special to The News)
B.C. goaltender excels in U.S. junior college

Matt Trulsen, brother of the late Noah, calls community support ‘amazing’

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read