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View Poll Results: Should the LCBO be deregulated?

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    63 42.86%
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Thread: LCBO / The Beer Store

  1. #196


    I agree, as previously stated here, with the thesis of most in this thread, that Ontario's liquor laws are too restrictive and its prices ( a function both of monopolies and taxes) are too high.

    However, I don't like either the defeatism of some (nothing can be changed) or the over-exuberant who want everything to change all at once (because there are too many interests than can and will block change that is too large)

    Let's remember, change has happened before:

    Ontario's drinking age is now 19, but was both 18 and 21 in the past.

    Last Call was 1 am only a decade and a 1 1/2 ago....

    And in the last few years, we're finally allowed to bring our own wine to restaurants.

    No, its not enough, by a long shot, but change can happen.

    We can aim to modestly reduce taxes on wine, or lower inter-provincial trade barriers to same.

    We can aim to convert the 'wine stores' (ie. Wine Rack, Aisle 41 etc.) to VQA stores with better selection.

    We can aim to pressure The Beer Store to lower its listing fees (or risk the loss of monopoly)

    We can get last call extended to 3am.

    etc. etc.

    The key is focusing on changes that don't decimate the status quo, so that there aren't too many interests aligned against change.

    (ie. don't threaten LCBO jobs, or government revenues to any great degree)

    There are others out there trying to loosen the parochial legislation we live under...........let's help support them: (links below)


    (also on FB) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-O...28755727185210

    http://www.freethewine.ca (A BC site, but perhaps some member here might make the Ontario version!)
    An environmentally conscientious, libertarian inclined, fiscally conservative, socialist.

  2. #197


    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    I am not sure closing "The Beer Store" monopoly and allowing Beer sales in Mom'nPop stores would help the small brewers much as they would be faced with huge delivery problems, instead of a hundred POS locations there would be thousands. Imagine your local store offering 18 brands of milk.
    This exact model works just fine in Quebec. Sure you can't always expect to find every brand at every store, but there's still a large selection nonetheless. The small brewers also don't need to deliver individually to each store - that's what distribution companies that handle a number of brewers/brands are for. Some of the small stores have even started to specialize in selling microbrews and allow you to do things like make your own 6 packs out of more than one brand. Plus it's nice being able to buy beer until 11pm 7 days a week.

  3. #198
    gabe Guest


    Quebec does it right, Also in Quebec all festivals, concerts, street parties etc. are licensed over the entire site.. no idiotic 'beer gardens' or alcohol bans like Ontario.

  4. #199


    No Name (brand) beer @Loblaws and No Frills? Brilliant if they'd get with the century we're in. .69 a bottle.

  5. #200
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way


    Here's something that will NEVER happen in Ontario:

    Incentivizing transit ridership with…beer?

    When the Nets new arena opens at the Atlantic Yards complex in a few years, it will bring with it traffic to a few of Brooklyn’s quieter residential neighborhoods. With Park Slope to the south, Prospect Heights to the east and Fort Greene to the north, the area doesn’t lend itself to the multitude of cars that will throng its streets on game days. Unfortunately, despite sitting atop one of the city’s busiest subway hubs and a Long Island Rail Road, the project will come with more parking than we’d like. To encourage mass transit use then, one advocate has proposed an idea for the masses: free beer.

    At a Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council meeting held last week to attack the traffic problem, Ryan Lynch of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign called upon Forest City Ratner to subsidize a free beer for those who take the train to the game. “Give people a free beer. They’re not driving,” Lynch said. “There needs to be more incentives from the developer and events promoters to encourage event-goers to get on mass transit. You could show your Metrocard or LIRR ticket and get a discount at the concession stand.”

    A spokesman for the developers issued a very spokesman-y statement. “We’re working on a fully integrated transportation plan that will look at a variety of ways of using mass transit instead of driving to the arena on game nights or event nights,” Joe DePlasco said. Ultimately, though, the Nets and Forest City Ratner should figure out a way to encourage transit use. Whether that includes supporting a residential parking permit program for the neighborhood’s streets or offering MetroCard- and LIRR-based discounts, driving to this arena should be discouraged. I’d drink to that.
    From secondavenuesagas.com.
    W. K. Lis

  6. #201
    gabe Guest


    Now that's one way to get the Ford supporters out of their SUV's and on to the TTC.

  7. #202
    gabe Guest


    Why am i not surprised?

    The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has decided to refuse to sell a beer from a small, local brewery because they disapprove of its name and its label. The Smashbomb Atomic IPA, a highly-reviewed and well-selling brew from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, will not be stocked in LCBO stores anymore because the name and packaging is too "extreme."

    In most other places, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery could take their Smashbomb and sell it elsewhere — in Ontario, where brewers are limited to selling at the LCBO stores or at the Molson- and Labbatt-owned Beer Stores, being removed from LCBO shelves can cripple or even destroy a small brewery.

    The almost-monopoly of the alcohol sales industry by a crown corporation aside — though that in itself is worth a larger examination — I am having trouble seeing how the LCBO can even object to this product. Where is the problem?

    The packaging of the product, featuring goofy illustrations and cheeky text, is funny at times, odd at most. It is not, in any way, offensive or irresponsible. The name Smashbomb is in no way any more socially unacceptable than the names of many other products (Fruit Explosion muffins, Smashbox Cosmetics, etc.) or groups (Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Atlanta Thrashers) that we see and accept every day.

    The beer, through its name and packaging, does not encourage underage drinking, nor does it advocate violence or violent behavior. Instead, it insinuates a cacophony of flavor and potency — a "smashbomb" of good beer, in effect. For the LCBO to think otherwise indicates that they have their filters on too tightly, and are being oversensitive to metaphor.

    I understand that the LCBO needs to take precaution to make sure that products are not encouraging damaging or illegal behavior, or even making light of these kinds of activiites. Smashbomb Atomic IPA does none of those. Instead, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery uses a goofy trope (as it does for so many of its other products) to give their beer identity.

    If alcohol sales in Ontario weren't an almost-monopoly, the decision by the LCBO wouldn't matter. But since Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery really has no place else to go because of alcohol distribution and sales laws in the province, a unnecessary banning because of a cheeky name could seriously hurt the success of a local business. That's not something anyone should want, especially not a crown corporation.

    I wouldn't want my young kids to see beer labels like this


  8. #203
    gabe Guest


    New concept adds Boutique to Beer Store http://www.thestar.com/business/arti...e?bn=1#article

    The Beer Store is hoping that smaller is better.

    The 440-store Ontario chain, owned by Molson-Coors, Labatt and Sleeman, is unveiling a new, smaller store format next week aimed at drawing in young, hip urban consumers who might otherwise be getting their suds from the LCBO. The initial “Beer Boutique” store will be in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood, but the format could be rolled out in urban centres across the province based on the reception the first one gets.

    The new format, dubbed “Beer Boutique,” will feature food and beer tastings, explanations of beer styles and other bits of beer knowledge. It will also be self-serve, allowing customers to browse the shelves as they do at the LCBO. Unlike the handful of existing Beer Store locations that are self-serve, only parts of this one will be refrigerated — no more wandering in for a six-pack and coming out with frostbite.

    “That urban consumer is looking for a different shopping experience and package size,” says Dave Paterson, brand manager at The Beer Store.

    That means that while traditional Beer Store mainstays such as 24s of Canadian or Bud Light will still be available, there will be a greater emphasis on single bottles and cans, or six-packs.

    While single bottles are a way for consumers to try different brands at lower expense than getting a case, Paterson says there’s also a more prosaic reason for focusing on smaller packages.

    “We know that in the urban areas, a lot of people aren’t driving to stores; they’re walking, biking or taking transit,” Paterson said.

    The new format comes as the LCBO has been slowly but surely eating away at The Beer Store’s dominance of the province’s beer-selling scene. In the 2006-07 fiscal year, the LCBO accounted for 18.1 per cent of the beer sold in Ontario (by volume). By the 2010-11 fiscal year, that figure had risen to 21.8 per cent, according to numbers supplied by the LCBO.

    “We absolutely hope to draw new consumers in with the Beer Boutique,” Paterson said.

    The new format could be good news for small Ontario craft breweries, says Gary McMullen, president of Muskoka Cottage Brewery.

    “From a consumer perspective, people want to see the product and touch the product. Anything which allows customers to shop around is always better for small brewers,” said McMullen, who’s also chairman of the Ontario Craft Brewers, a 30-member association of small, independent brewers. “I think the Beer Boutique has real potential for our members.”

    The only concern for McMullen is that the Beer Boutique is just 2,700 square feet, or roughly half the footprint of most existing Beer Store locations.

    “I’m not sure how many SKUs (stock-keeping unit, or products) they’re going to be able to get in a 2,700 square foot store,” said McMullen.

    Retail industry consultant Len Kubas, however, says that in this case, fewer might actually be better, because people can now browse the shelves and if a label or bottle looks interesting, they might give it a shot. He also thinks the new format could be a help to smaller breweries, or lesser-known imports, compared to existing Beer Store formats.

    “I absolutely think the Beer Boutique could be a shot in the arm for the craft brewers. You can just be overwhelmed by the number of beers on offer when you go into the standard Beer Stores. You look up at the wall, and there’s this board with 100 little cards, but that doesn’t really say much about the product,” said Kubas.

    That format, says Kubas, is a hangover from the Beer Store’s origins in 1927 as a co-operative warehousing system for the province’s brewers.

    “I don’t want to use the word complacent, but I think the time is long overdue for something like this. The LCBO started doing things like this over 20 years ago,” said Kubas of The Beer Store’s stylish new makeover, which will also include copper fixtures.

    Paterson, meanwhile, says The Beer Store has had “a lot of meetings with a lot of craft brewers” about the Beer Boutique, but admitted that adding more craft beers wasn’t at the top of the new store format’s priority list.

    “That wasn’t one of our objectives,” said Paterson. “We’ve been doing a good job at carrying good beer, whether it’s from craft brewers, bigger breweries, or even imports.”

  9. #204
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    St Lawrence Market Area


    It appears that the Beer Store is finally opening a store in the St Lawrence Market/Distillery District. This is in "The District"

    Application: Building Additions/Alterations Status: Not Started

    Location: 33 MILL ST

    Ward 28: Toronto Centre-Rosedale

    Application#: 11 324471 BLD 00 BA Accepted Date: Dec 12, 2011

    Project: Multiple Unit Building Interior Alterations

    Description: Proposal for interior alterations to underground parking level (part of retail unit - "The Beer Store") to increase the structural support. See related permit 11 277495 BLD for floor above.

  10. #205
    gabe Guest


    Luckily i visit the states on a regular basis, so i always stock up on beer/wine in the states. NY state has better selection and MUCH better prices!!

    Liquor prices are too high, and they're going up!!! http://blog.yourmoney.ca/2012/01/lcb...-going-up.html

    I’ve never questioned the price of alcohol sold by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). There’s no other alternative for purchasing booze in Ontario and, given the government monopoly, I’ve neglected to ask myself (or anyone else) why prices here are so high. And though I noticed that alcohol was much cheaper when I was in the United States for school, I never delved into the possible reasons for that. When the Auditor General began to scrutinize LCBO pricing policy, I became rather interested.

    It turns out that a lot of people think we pay too much for booze, and that the LCBO is doing a pretty poor job (for many reasons). Oh, and the price of alcohol is going up. I bet you didn’t see that one coming.

    Auditor General Jim McCarter criticized the LCBO recently for failing to negotiate the lowest possible deals, and for not maximize revenues. While private-sector retailers attempt to find the lowest possible wholesale price, McCarter claims that the LCBO instead focuses on the retail price they want to charge for a product. If suppliers submit significantly lower quotes than expected, the LCBO will ask them to raise their wholesale price so that the product has a higher retail price. Quick, someone please explain why that is a smart pricing policy. I suppose this makes sense in terms of profits, given that the LCBO applies a huge fixed markup to the landed cost, which is absorbed by consumers who then pay more on the retail side.

    “A Walmart would certainly go back to their supplier and say: ‘Would you sell it to us cheaper?’ We think a lot of suppliers would sell it to us cheaper, basically to get that LCBO listing,” McCarter said to the Toronto Star.

    But poor negotiations aren’t the only reason why we pay too much for alcohol in Ontario. What about the cost of advertising? Businesses advertise to gain consumers and to show off new products. When you have a monopoly, you don’t really have to do that. Where else are we going to go? I’m not about to drive to Buffalo every time I want to make a cocktail.

    “We advertise because, while we have a monopoly in spirits, we compete in a shared provincial market for beverage alcohol such as beer, and/or coolers,” says the LCBO website. It goes on to say that, “the LCBO has a responsibility to its suppliers to promote the products they display in our stores and advertising is a key element that helps bring our Discover the World brand vision to life.”

    The LCBO also publishes a glossy monthly magazine called Food & Drink, which is offered to consumers at no cost. The basic idea behind this magazine is to offer recipes and ideas for decorating and entertaining. In reality, it’s all a grand scheme to further promote LCBO products and stores – many of which have been redone to look like museums instead of retail outlets. I, for one, would rather cheaper spirits over a designer LCBO look.

    LCBO spokespeople note that the company returned $1.56 billion to the treasury last year. But as Finance Minister Dwight Duncan put it: “Should we be getting $1.7 billion or $1.8 billion? It’s wise to look at that.” There is no reason why the LCBO should be spending profits on trying to get us to buy more alcohol. Especially not at the very same time as they try and warn about the ills of drinking and the social responsibility of the LCBO.

    But that's where Duncan stops being sensible. In early December, he talked to Toronto Life and was quoted as saying this: “The infant mortality rate in Detroit—where you might go to buy a bottle of wine for $6 that you pay $18 for here—is much higher. I choose our system. I choose social responsibility.” What does one thing have to do with the other? Can we not have good health care and lower prices on booze? I don't see the correlation. We know that those lost $12 are going into advertising, publishing, and paying staff and suppliers arguably too much. Don't suggest that our babies will die if we sell $6 wine.

    And as if it beer and spirits prices weren’t high enough, the province is raising prices effective March 1. The increase will affect about 10 per cent of spirits products and 3 to 4 per cent of beer products. The prices aren’t going up by much, but it’s still troubling that a 24-pack of the cheapest beer will be $29.35.

    NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says that the price hike is a "literal example of consumers being nickel and dimed." She pointed out that revenue can be maximized on the buying end, as noted by the Auditor General, rather than at the cost of consumers. Or they could stop using provincial money to advertise, publish a magazine, and build immaculate new stores. This kind of makes me wish I lived in a border town. Oh well, there’s always sobriety until then (but who am I kidding?).

  11. #206
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way


    The problem will remain that the LCBO will set the MINIMUM price of a product no matter who sells it. Yes, the monopoly should end, but the price controls should as well.
    W. K. Lis

  12. #207
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    St Lawrence Market Area


    The Beer Store project in the Distillery (see posting 204 above) is on Mill Street and will be a Beer Boutique - sign on the door. (I hope they will accept empties as the St Lawrence and Distillery Districts are now poorly served with a bottle return depot.)

  13. #208


    Is this the same Beer Boutique that is in Liberty Village? I haven't noticed if they accept empties or not.

  14. Default

    It's not just that LCBO's pricing is extortionate - their selection also sucks even in flagship stores like Vintages Summerhill. I bought some wine at the Total Wine & More in Naples (Florida) and was bowled over by their pricing and product range, as well as their approachable and well-informed staff. Too bad they don't have a store in Buffalo.

  15. #210


    I'm just happy I no longer have to break Canada's silly inter-provincial trading laws and that I can now buy Sortilège at select Ontario LCBO's... finally!

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