Ontario Beer Monopoly

I recently spent a month in Ontario.  I had lived in Ontario until about 20 years ago.  I like beer. I don’t drink tons of it but I like the taste and like to vary the

types of beer that I drink.  My heart goes out to beer drinkers in Ontario.  There is a monopoly of the beer market there(more on that in a minute) and this makes it very difficult for craft and micro breweries to market their wares.

While at the Royal Winter Fair last week I had a chance to speak to a representative of McAuslan Brewing based in the GTA(Greater Toronto Area).  It was a great conversation.  They were serving and promoting their beer at one of the licensed areas at the Royal.  To serve the customers properly she would, as any good server, ask what kind of beer they liked so that she could choose one that would suit the person’s tastes.  The problem was that many of the people that came there to have a beer were only familiar with the North American swill that is called beer.  The stuff that needs to be ‘ice-cold’ to be able to drink it.  Most of the time she would get blank stares even when she tried to reword the question.  She soon realized that many were only interested in cold and clean and not flavour.
(check out their product: McAuslan Brewing)

I’m sure if you surveyed, most Canadians would believe that The Beer Store in Ontario is owned by the Ontario government.

This taken from CBCNews Toronto(CBC News):
“‘The Beer Store’ in Ontario is owned by the U.S.-based Molson Coors Brewing Company, Sapporo of Japan and Anheuser-Busch InBev of Belgium which are all foreign based companies.  “

So, if you like to try different beers with some real flavour or want beer that is brewed without additives you pretty much have to buy it in restaurants.  Often smaller craft beer companies are purchased by one of the above conglomerates and they can then alter the product.

I might not have noticed this but for having lived in Alberta for the past four years.  It is quite easy to purchase a much greater variety of beer and wine than in Ontario.  So come visit.

Posted by Martin Jones

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