New bill proposes craft beer store for Ontario
What if Ontario's craft brewers, winemakers and distillers could band together and create their own retail outlets? It's an idea that would likely appeal to many of the smaller beer and booze-makers who feel poorly represented by The Beer Store and LCBO. Customers, one suspects, would also like such an option given the dubious selection of craft beer on offer under the current system.
Conservative MP Todd Smith is set to reintroduce a private member's bill calling for changes to provincial liquor laws that would allow such a store to exist. The bill would do is enable producers of similar alcoholic products to join together and share the costs of shipping, storing, and marketing their products. From a consumer standpoint, it would put a diverse range of craft products under one roof.
Before we get too hopeful about the prospects of such a bill being passed, it's useful to recall that the provincial Liberals are currently conducting a review of how alcohol is sold in Ontario, so any changes will almost surely be tabled until the budget is revealed this spring. Still, it's an intriguing idea that might put some pressure on the government to improve the current system.
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