60 Ontario grocery stores will be licensed to sell beer by December

TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Wednesday beer sales will be expanded to grocery stores at 60 locations by December.

The government intends to allow sales of six-packs of beer to 450 grocery stores across the province — including up to 150 by May 2017.

“In April, we promised big changes to allow Ontario grocery store to sell beer,” said Wynne during a press conference in Toronto on Wednesday. “We’re now poised to do it in a prudent and socially responsible way.”

The government has also finalized a new series of agreements with The Beer Store which the province says will level the playing field for Ontario’s craft brewers.

This includes offering a 20 per cent minimum shelf space for small brewers in The Beer Store network and a commitment from the industry’s largest brewers to cap price increases to inflation for some of their most popular beer products until May 2017.

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VIDEO: Premier Wynne said that she was pleased to be able to support the growth of craft brewers in Ontario, and is now accepting bids from other grocery stores that wish to sell beer.

The changes come in the wake of a report by a panel headed by TD Bank CEO Ed Clark, which examined Crown assets to find ways to maximize value for provincial infrastructure plans.

Grocery stores that wish to acquire a licence to sell beer can register online under LCBO RFB #2015-010 to enter a bidding process. The deadline for submissions is November 6, 2015.

In an effort to expand beer sales, the province has already launched a pilot project to sell 12-packs of beer in 10 LCBO stores, offer free listings for Ontario brewers at The Beer Store, new on-site sales outlets for small brewers, and new Craft Beer Zones at 25 LCBO locations across the province.

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