TORONTO, ON – In a statement announced last night and released today, the Ontario Craft Brewers have requested that the Ontario Government expand the beer retailing system to include more and better options for the province’s craft brewers.
While it seems likely that the upcoming provincial budget will include changes to allow large grocery stores in Ontario to start selling beer and wine, the OCB is asking that another “complementary channel” also be added:
In addition to the existing retail channels of the LCBO, The Beer Store and possibly grocery stores, OCB proposes the government allow established craft brewers the right to open at least one off site store per brewery, along with the ability to sell each other’s products (cross sell) in them, and in their existing on site brewery stores.
OCB also suggests that, to accommodate other craft producers with similar needs, some of the brewery store shelf space should be dedicated to their products ie: cideries, craft distilleries, etc.
According to OCB vice-chair Darren Smith, this move could double or triple the market share for craft beer in Ontario over the next five years, and would also contribute another 1,000 to 2,000 brewery jobs to the economy, as well as an average of four or five new jobs at each off site retail store.
For more details about the OCB proposal, see the full press release on the OCB website.