The Star joins the parade against the Brewers Retail
Our pals at The Toronto Star launched a two-part series yesterday titled “The real reason your beer costs more than it should“. They are understandably focused on the ownership situation at The Beer Store.
According to a poll, 6 out of 10 customers believe that the Ontario Government owns these retail beer outlets, not three international brewing conglomerates. There’s also a piece on the strangeness that is the ban on corner store beer, unless you live in anywhere north of urban Ontario, such as the intersection of Highways 6 & 10, where beer is sold cheek by jowl with pop and chips at the Minimart.
The fact that the Red Star focused on the economics of the Beer Store vs. Convenience Store question might speak to a mood change underway in the Province. The lack of attention to the alleged social ills of corner store beer, with the predictable quotes from MADD, could be telling. If the Red Star isn’t worried about Loblaws or Mac’s selling beer, then the door is now open to Premier McGuinty to reconsider his position.
You may recall that we also tackled this topic a few weeks ago (see prior post “The anachronistic Brewers Retail” June 13-08).
It’s curious that the Ontario government doesn’t trust cigarette companies to sell their products directly to consumers (and instead puts those products in the hands of grocery store clerks), but doesn’t trust those same clerks to sell beer — and relies on international beer companies to manage their own distribution, and that of the two dozen plus micro-brewers of Ontario who have no say in how their products get to the retail market.
The worm may be turning.