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Expanded beer sales planned in Ontario in 2026

By Randy Thoms Dec 14, 2023 | 1:59 PM

Beer will be sold in convenience stores in Ontario.

The province plans to allow sales in the smaller stores beginning in 2026.

It will also expand sales at grocery and big box stores.

Premier Doug Ford says it allows for more choice, more convenience and more time, and follows similar practices elsewhere.

“These new rules finally put Ontario in line with Quebec and other provinces, and pretty well everywhere else in the world because there’s absolutely no reason that people in Ontario shouldn’t enjoy the same convenient shopping experience as other Canadians do,” says Ford.

In addition to the expanded marketplace, restrictions on the sale of large cases of beer will be removed, allowing stores to sell 12, 24 and 30-packs.

The stores will also be permitted to sell wine, cider, coolers and spritzers.

Ontario-made products will continue to receive dedicated shelf space.

A decision not to renew an agreement with Brewers Retail, the owner of the Beer Store, is paving the way for the expanded sales.

Ford says it does not mean Beer Stores or LCBO outlets are closing.

“We’re going to continue working with a great partner in the Beer Store. They do some great jobs like delivery is one, recycling,” says Ford. ” And LCBO, it’s a great crown asset, and it’s not going anywhere. They do an incredible job for the people of Ontario. They have selection, so if someone wants some exotic wine or some other drinks, they can go to the LCBO. I’m very proud of how the LCBO is running right now.”

Many organizations, including chambers of commerce and convenience store associations, have long called for expanded beer sales.There have also been concerns expressed about it being sold to youth.

Ford says he has confidence that store owners will not let that happen.

“That’s just not going to happen. The convenience store owners and associations are very responsible. It’s no different than buying a pack of smokes or a lottery ticket. But they’re going to be responsible and very confident they’ll be that way,” says Ford.

The province says opening up sales could lead to beer and wine sold at more than 8,500 locations across the province.