Toronto, Ontario – Earlier this week Ontario grocery stores began selling beer at select stores. 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 province wide — 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.
What’s Brewin’ spoke to some Craft Brewers about what beer sales in grocery stores means to their brewery. At the moment everyone seems happy with the new exposure that craft beer is getting in the province. Listen to the audio clips below to get complete details from the brewers themselves.
Lake of Bays Brewery President & OCB Vice-Chair, Darren Smith tells us it’s exciting to see more access to the market for smaller brewers and there should be a pretty significant convenience factor with the sale of beer at grocery stores.
Ian Gourlay a partner at Walkerville Brewery mentions that anything that allows consumers more convenient access to buy craft beers is good news for all craft brewers in Ontario.
Gary McMullen the president and founder of Muskoka Brewery is happy that the government is trying to make some real change and create opportunity for craft brewers in the province.
Sybil Taylor Communications Director at Steam Whistle Brewing is glad to see the Ontario Government come thru on something that has been a “political promise” for years.
Steve Beauchesne founder of Beau’s All Natural Brewing feels one of the biggest challenges for all craft brewery’s is gaining access to the customer and this new area for beer sales is one way to help level the playing field for craft brewers.
Flying Monkeys founder Peter Chiodo feels it was a long time coming and this will provide a certain level of convenience for the consumer to shop for grocery’s and buy beer at the same place.
Peter Bulut, President and CBO at Great Lakes Brewery is hiring additional people to keep up with the new demand because of the increase in beer sales.