It’s enough to drive you to drink, if you can afford it.


The price of booze crept up yesterday by about 50 cents to one dollar for most brands. In total 990 products saw an increase, predominantly beer and spirits.


However, 344 products went down in price at the same time — notably wine and scotch. Added all together, it works out to an overall average increase of 0.74 per cent.


The NSLC allows vendors to adjust their prices twice per year, once in spring and once in fall.


“That’s how they deal with all their business issues from where they want to price themselves competitively,” said NSLC spokesman Rick Perkins.

“We don’t do across the board price increases. We haven’t done those in a long time. We allow the manufacturers to set where they think their price should be.”

Beer saw the biggest jump at 2.2 per cent, or an average of 50 cents to $1. The most popular product, a 12-pack of Keith’s, jumps to $20.99 from $20.49.

Spirits went up 0.7 per cent. For example, 750 ml of Captain Morgan went up to $26.99 from $25.99.

But some price drops were significant, particularly in California wines. All bottles of Sterling wines have fallen to $14.99 from $19.86. A three-litre box of Gallo chardonnay drops to $29.99 from $35.66.

Single malt scotch lovers also benefit. A 750ml bottle of 12-year-old Glenlivit has gone to $39.99 from $42.99.

The overall price increase of 0.74 per cent is actually lower than the usual spring increase of two to three per cent.

“Everyone’s energy prices have gone up. Labour prices are going up. But there’s a limit to what the market and this economy can bear right now,” said Perkins.