Modernizing Ontario alcohol sales

12 packs of beer being tried at LCBO locations

Photo by Jessica Dik
Photo by Jessica Dik

An LCBO memo released on August 19 revealed that the Kitchener location at 721 Ottawa Street South, was one of 10 across Ontario chosen for a pilot project introducing the sale of 12-packs of beer.

The project was laid out by the provincial government  to “modernize” alcohol sales.

This particular LCBO was chosen based on a number of criteria.

“One of the criteria was that it had to be [two kilometres] from the nearest Beer Store … and that particular store usually had walk-in fridge space,” said LCBO media relations coordinator Christine Bujold.

“It would have also been a location which customers were accustomed to going to for beer products and beer packs … and that was all laid out by the asset review council — the premier’s council,” she continued.

The provincial government implemented the pilot project in an attempt to improve alcohol sales by making larger quantities of beer more convenient.

Expanding the sales of 12-packs to the LCBO is an attempt to make this purchase more convenient, as it will no longer be necessary to go to the Beer Store for larger quantities of beer.

“It’s the best possible customer service. It meets the needs of our customers as well as the requirements from the council,” said Bujold.

The beer store had no comment when contacted.

The products that have now become available in 12-packs include domestic brands such as Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Carling Lager and Budweiser as well as some craft beer options such as Steam Whistle and Muskoka Survival Pack.

Heineken, Stella Artois, Corona Extra and Grolsch will also be available among the imported beer options.

Bujold said there will be no variation in beer price.

“A 12-pack whether it’s purchased at a Beer Store or an LCBO store is still the same price,” said Bujold.

The pilot project chosen by the provincial government under Premier Kathleen Wynne is an attempt to generate more revenue from larger public assets to fund government programs.

“Once the year is over [the results of the pilot project] will be looked upon by an independent third party and it will go from there,” said Bujold.

The memo also states that more Ontario craft beer options will become available this fall.

“One of the other things that the LCBO is going to be doing going forward is introducing destination craft beer zones. So this will be areas within the LCBO stores that will feature craft beer products all in one place so consumers can go in and take a look at a vast variety of craft beer,” said Bujold.

For now, there is one confirmed location that is going to begin implementing these changes, at the Summerhill store in Toronto that will also have a growler station.

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