If you’re Canadian or from states bordering Canada, you’ve likely tipped back a few bottles of Labatt Blue in your day. For those Canadian souls lucky enough to work for the famous brewery (home of weird ads and iconic blue labels), retirement means free beer for life. Well, at least it used to.
This week, employees received a memo explaining that the brewery would be phasing out this beloved perk over the next few years. This is obviously bad news for workers on the cusp of retirement who were hoping to have an endless supply of Canadian Lager to imbibe for the rest of their days. Now they’ll just have pony up some cash and buy beer like the rest of us.
This change might actually impact retirement numbers — because current employees actually receive a good deal of free beer, including free cases every few weeks and extra free cases during the holidays. Why retire when you can get free beer at work?
Former employees are taking the cut seriously. “It’s a loss to a class of former employees,” Larry Innanen, a retiree from Ontario told the New York Times. “It means something, it’s material to them.”
If retirees are feeling really bitter, they can spend their hard-earned pay on rival Molson Canadian. The other major brewery in Canada actually had its own “free beer for life” retirement perk, but ended it a few years ago. We always knew, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Somehow, knowing that there’s no free beer for life is worse.