Beer Retailing Changes Tap Into Ontario Craft Beer Potential

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Ontario Celebrates Craft Beer Week June 12-21

Ontario Craft Beer Week showcases locally made products from more than 50 breweries as the Province moves forward with its plan to modernize the beer retailing and distribution system, opening up more opportunities for Ontarians to try unique, Ontario-made craft beer.

In the biggest change since the repeal of prohibition, Ontario is expanding beer sales to up to 450 grocery store locations across the province, starting this December. This will give Ontarians more convenience and choice, while maintaining a strong commitment to social responsibility.

Ontario is introducing a new Beer Framework that will:

Open up ownership in the network of Beer Stores to all Ontario beer makers
Create a new craft category to better profile craft beer in the Beer Store
Require that the Beer Store devote a minimum of 20 per cent of available shelf space to small brewers
Continue the successful Ontario Deposit Return Program
Allow small brewers to operate a second on-site store if they have more than one production site
Reduce red tape by allowing small brewers to co-deliver their products
Generate an additional $100 million a year in revenue for the province, phased in over four years
Ontario also maintains a strong commitment to social responsibility. The government will work with all new beer retailers to develop initiatives supporting the safe consumption of alcohol. The government will mandate that the sale of alcohol be restricted to set hours of operation, in designated beer retail sections to be cordoned off. The government will also ensure staff members are suitably trained to sell beer to the public.

Unlocking value through more convenience and improved choice for consumers is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

QUICK FACTS
Ontario Craft Beer Week features more than 200 craft beer-themed grassroots events throughout the province.
Craft beer is a vital industry in Ontario, employing more than 1,000 people in direct brewery jobs, almost double the number from 10 years ago.
The Province is working to have beer available for sale in up to 150 grocery stores by May 1, 2017. Responding to consumer demand, up to 450 stores could be implemented.
In 2014-15 LCBO sales of Ontario craft beer grew to over $68 million, up almost 36 per cent over the prior year.
Starting in 2015, the LCBO will create new craft beer speciality sections at select stores in which Ontario craft beer brands will be featured prominently.