grocery beer toronto

Beer not coming to Toronto supermarkets until 2016

New details have emerged about how and when we might actually be able to pick up some beer with our milk and eggs. While earlier reports had indicated that supermarkets were expected to stock beer before the end of this year, we now know beer won't be coming to grocery stores until 2016.

Tom Barlow, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), told me that early 2016 is the best case scenario for beer being more widely available to Toronto shoppers and that it will take at least another year and a half to roll out beer to the 150+ stores expected to carry it across Ontario.

While this delay isn't expected to thrill anyone, it's also not entirely unexpected given the major change that it represents for alcohol sales in this province. A timeline on the sale of wine at grocery stores, for instance, is still completely up in the air.

On the bright side, Barlow says the the province has talked about setting a minimum percentage of beer on shelves that must be from small brewers. It's expected this will come in around 20 per cent, a number which he says grocers are keen to support or even exceed.

Are you disappointed beer won't be on Toronto supermarket shelves until 2016? Let us know in the comments.

Read the entire transcript of my interview with Tom Barlow over on my Beer Blog.


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