Futures & Commodities

Quick quiz, which is cheaper: Beer or oil?

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images; Floortje | Getty Images

A year ago, when oil was trading at a price double what it is now, it would have been foolish to ask whether oil was cheaper than beer.

But today? Not so much.

The price of West Canadian Select dipped to fresh seven-year lows Tuesday to trade at $22.73 a barrel, nearly $2 cheaper than a 24-pack of another classic Canadian export: Molson beer. (Tweet This)

According to British Columbia-based BC Liquorstores, a 24-pack of Molson Canadian fetches CA$31.79 ($24.32). Granted, a 24-pack of Molson, which boasts a 69 percent approval rating on Beer Advocate, only amounts to about 8.5 liters of beer compared to the 159 liters a barrel of oil holds. Still, a year ago it would've taken more than two 24-packs of Molson to barter your hands onto a barrel of West Canadian crude.

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Such a slide for West Canadian crude is indicative of just how bearish the oil market has become, according to Societe Generale Managing Director Lawrence McDonald, who first flagged the price comparison.

"It's a dirtier oil, but in a raging bull market people will pay up for a dirtier oil and refine it," he told CNBC. "The spread between West Canada and WTI widens as the market gets more bearish."

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Compared to the $10 discount at which West Canadian crude traded last summer, it's now over $19 cheaper than its cleaner WTI counterpart.