The government is delivering on its promise to allow beer sales in grocery stores by announcing the first 58 locations across the province where Ontarians will be able to buy beer.
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Finance Charles Sousa announced the 13 independent grocery stores and 45 stores owned by large grocers that are now authorized to sell beer. This is the first round of Ontario’s commitment to make it more convenient for people to buy beer. Ultimately, beer will be available at up to 450 grocery stores provincewide — roughly the same number of locations The Beer Store currently operates in Ontario. Beer in grocery stores is part of the biggest shakeup to beverage alcohol retailing in the province since prohibition was ended in 1927.
“Our government is committed to opening up new opportunities for businesses in Ontario, and that includes here in Sault Ste. Marie. Now, Sault residents will be able to purchase a variety of beer at Pino’s Get Fresh at the same time they are shopping for groceries,” said Orazietti. “By expanding the availability of beer in the province, we are increasing convenience and choice for consumers while creating a more level playing field for craft brewers.”
Ontario is expanding access responsibly. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which visited all 58 locations as part of the authorization process, will now monitor them to ensure that they adhere to laws on the safe retail of alcohol. These include designated sales areas and hours of sale, limitations to package sizes and alcohol content by volume, and rigorous social responsibility training for staff.
“We’re thrilled that we will now be able to offer the Sault community the opportunity to purchase beer, including craft beer, in our store. Ontarians will now be able to pick up their favourite beer at the same time they’re doing their grocery shopping, which will make entertaining easy,” said Ben Pino, owner Pino’s Get Fresh.
Giving consumers more choice and convenience while creating a more level playing field for brewers 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.