Even More Grocery Stores in Halton Could Soon Sell Beer and Cider
If you’re a beer or cider drinker in Halton, good news for you - another 95 Ontario grocery stores will soon be able to stock beer and cider. That means more booze could be coming to a grocery store near you!
Recently, the LCBO invited up to 95 eligible Ontario grocers to bid for the ability to sell beer and cider at their stores.
Grocery locations that receive authorization will be announced next year, and sales are expected to start as soon as April 2018.
If all 95 authorizations are doled out, more than 300 grocery stores in Ontario would be allowed to sell beer and cider. According to the province, additional opportunities for grocers to bid for the sale of wine, along with beer and cider, are still to be announced.
The number of grocery stores allowed to sell beer, wine, and cider is slowly increasing, giving more and more Ontarians more choice and convenience those select their booze.
Currently, more than 200 grocery stores across Ontario are authorized to sell beer and cider, 70 of which can also sell wine. Ultimately, beer and cider will be available in up to 450 grocery stores, including up to 300 that will also sell wine. This is in addition to more than 450 Beer Stores and 660 LCBO stores across Ontario.
“Small producers are benefiting from greater exposure in the marketplace, while consumers are enjoying more choice and convenience,” said minister of finance Charles Sousa. “By working together, we’re enabling opportunity for local businesses and communities to experience more craft and VQA products.”
Interested grocers have until November 6, 2017 to apply.
If a bidder is successful, they can then apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for an authorization to sell beer and cider.
While this news is exciting, it's part of a lengthier roll-out that's been gradually chugging along for about two years. Back in April 2015, the provincial government announced that it would be allowing some grocery stores to sell beer for the first time in the province’s history.
While it's great to be able to grab alcohol while grocery shopping, caveats apply. Grocery stores can only sell six-packs and their prices and hours have to reflect those at the Beer Store (meaning you can only buy alcohol during specific hours and you can't expect discount prices). If you’re hoping to run down to your local Rabba at midnight to grab a multi-pack, you’re out of luck.
We'll keep you posted on the 95 lucky bidders.