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.
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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