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Tired of the Beer Store’s conveyor belt? Queen’s Park is reexamining its liquor laws (but don’t get your hopes up yet)

(Image: Ken Lund)

When stringent regulations (almost) prevent a small brewery from working with a charity for homeless kids, well maybe it’s a good time to reevaluate some of your policies. Back in December, the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission made a decision to, as the Globe and Mail puts it, “block a tiny eastern Ontario brewery from offering home delivery of its beer in conjunction with a prominent Ottawa charity for homeless teens” (that brewery would be Beau’s). The decision was luckily reversed due to a last minute intervention from the not inappositely named Liberal MPP Grant Crack. This legislative session, the province will be looking a little more closely at its liquor laws, which comes as welcome news at a time when the three large breweries that own The Beer Store pretty much control where you buy your brew, how much it costs and how crappy your shopping experience will be (this might explain why the LCBO is eating its lunch). As the Globe’s Barrie McKenna explained on the weekend, The Beer Store’s bare utilitarian setup means more profit for Molson Coors, Labatt (a.k.a. Anheuser-Busch InBev) and Sleeman (a.k.a. Sapporo). Unfortunately, it also means you have to pick your beer up off a rattling conveyor belt. McKenna says the McGuinty government shows no sign of toppling the Beer Store’s monopoly any time soon, but you can’t blame us for dreaming a little. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »