Aside from bottle and draft sales at the brewery, they are not authorized to sell their beers other than through the BR or the LCBO. Once a microbrewery has paid this listing fee it can choose which Brewers Retail stores it will use.
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But for most microbreweries paying for beer outlets in remote Northern Ontario it most probably will never use does seem a waste of money which could be better spent promoting its beers locally. Many micros do want to be in the BR but only in the more populous southern section, the Golden Horseshoe, of this large province. Out-of-province breweries seeking to distribute beer in Ontario must apply for a listing at the Brewers Retail. If a brewery chooses to go through the LCBO, in lieu of the BR stores, it still must meet laboratory, packaging, labeling and bar code requirements.
However, the LCBO decides which outlets the out-of-province beer is shipped. A special case is the Magnotta Brewery in Scarborough, and now Vaughan, which has taken an uncommon approach to selling its beers in Ontario. Magnotta's products are only sold at the brewery's retail store and cannot be bought at either the BR stores or the LCBO outlets. Magnotta's original strategy was to open breweries at several of its existing winery outlets, but recent policy changes have led to a scaled-back operation-the addition of a single brewery at its 55, square-foot flagship site in Vaughan.
A May 16, directive from Rowland Dunning, vp Corporate Affairs for the Liquor License Board of Ontario LLBO , the licensing side of things in Ontario, states: "All beer products sold at an on-site brewery store must be fully manufactured by the brewer at the manufacturing plant adjoining the store.
When Magnotta opened its first brewery, it was under the governance of a regulation which decreed that "50 percent of all beer products sold at an on-site brewery store had to be manufactured at the brewery adjoining the store. Magnotta neither received confirmation that the board ratified the percent rule, nor was any reason given for the change.
Issuance 2 The Board may issue a manufacturer's licence to an applicant under this section.
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Conditions 3 A manufacturer's licence is subject to such conditions as may be imposed by the Board or prescribed. When Magnotta applied for a manufacturing license extension for the Magnotta Brewery in Scarborough to encompass the new Vaughan Brewery, they were told of a new LCBO policy regarding a second location. If a brewery was brewing 25, hectoliters of beer per year, it would be entitled to a second store, which effectively meant no microbreweries qualified, other than existing breweries already at that level of production, an obvious constraint to growth according to Arnold Schwisberg.
As a result, Magnotta was forced to have two separately incorporated companies. The LCBO appears to put forward policy which favors its own profitability while limiting a brewery's ability to self-distribute and the LCBO does not allow submissions regarding policy," said Arnold Schwisberg, Magnotta's lawyer. Basically it was a constraint to growth," said Arnold Schwisberg. The LCBO declined to give out documents supporting its case, forcing Magnotta to appeal to the courts for said information.
Brewing under license remains legal-one brewery may license another brewery to brew one or several of its products and receive a royalty in return. The brewery which does the brewing takes care of all other aspects, from paying the required taxes to brewing and distributing the beer. At present, Ontario brewpubs can only sell beer directly over the bar at their respective locations, though brewpub owners have launched lobbying efforts to relax the laws. However, permission for brewpubs for the movement of brewpub produced beer to one other location which is owned and operated by the same company was to receive further review, while retail sales at a brewpub were not likely to happen.
A counter proposal by Ron Keefe of the Granite Brewery, for brewpubs to bottle one or two beers and ship to 4 or 5 LCBO outlets in close proximity to each brewpub received consideration, though no ruling has yet been handed down. Ron Keefe says that in general, his dealings with the LCBO have been fine, though they tended to be somewhat nit picking when it came to the size and positioning of the bar codes on the label.
As part of the process of getting a listing, the Granite Brewery also had to submit a printout of its web page for board approval.
While Keefe has heard stories of other brewers' difficulties in getting beer moved from the LCBO central warehouse to the desired distribution outlets once there, he remains optimistic. Quebec In Quebec, under the auspices of the controlling agency RACJ regie d'alcool des courses et des jeux , a brewer's license includes the right to warehouse and distribute beer and to sell directly to licensed retailers such as bars, restaurants, depanneurs corner stores and grocers.
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For years, Quebec breweries could not sell beer directly to consumers at the brewery, though they could offer free samples of beer, denying them what most breweries saw as a valuable outlet for product and a very useful personal contact with consumers. This was set to be changed, but the Quebec government waffled, backed away, and then passed a law which permits a brewery to not only sell directly to consumers but to have a brewery tap as well. In a unique bit of market control, individual brands sold in provincial liquor stores, Societe des Alcools du Quebec SAQ stores, cannot be sold in the broader system of depanneurs and grocers.
In Quebec brewers must use a returnable bottle that they or their agent must collect and reuse. In a bid to encourage recycling, the deposit on large beer cans and bottles over ml has increased by 15 cents, putting the new deposit at 20 cents. Small container deposits remain unchanged. Recyc-Quebec reached the deal with the brewers and the province's environmental department for the new higher deposit early in Showing good business sense and a spirit of cooperation, a number of Quebec microbreweries have banded together to share truck space and cut shipping costs.
Interprovincial beer shipment agreements exist between Quebec and all other provinces with the exception of New Brunswick. Quebec and New Brunswick are currently negotiating for such an agreement at the request of Moosehead Breweries Ltd. John, New Brunswick, which wants to distribute in Quebec.
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Brewpubs in Quebec are allowed to sell their beers on premise only. The Maritimes Nova Scotia has permitted the movement and sale of beer from one brewpub site to another bar or restaurant which is owned and operated by the same person or company, but other off-site sales are not legal.
Kevin Keefe of the Granite Brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who was instrumental in pushing for the change, says it took him a year to get his second license after a long, hard struggle with the government bureaucracy. But at least in a smaller province such as Nova Scotia it was a bit easier to keep going back, whereas in a large metropolitan area such as Toronto, it may take up to a year before you can even get in again to see the liquor authorities," said Keefe. Follow him on Twitter: robertbenzie. Read more about: Kathleen Wynne , Doug Ford.
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They also have a good selection of food! Food quality is always consistent and service is top notch. The servers and bartenders are well versed in the beer selections and are very helpful to make recommendations for you. Thanks for stopping by. Please, come in!