Beer is finally coming to 13 Ontario retailers

Finally, Ontarians don’t have to consider moving to another province, where the booze flows freely from grocery and convenience stores—they’re getting beer at grocery stores! And as early as this December!

But there’s a catch. (There’s always a catch.)

So far, only 13 retailers have been approved.

The retailers are:

  • Coppa’s Fresh Market
  • Farm Boy 2012 Inc.
  • Galleria Supermarket
  • Hanahreuem Mart Inc.
  • J & B La Mantia Ltd.
  • Loblaws Inc.
  • Long Brothers Fruit Market Inc.
  • Metro Ontario Inc., with locations across the province
  • Michael-Angelos Market Place Inc.
  • Pino’s Get Fresh in Sault Ste. Marie
  • Sobeys Capital Incoporated, with locations across the province
  • Starsky Fine Food Hamilton Inc.
  • Wal-Mart Canada Corp.

According to a news release, the retailers, which is a mix of independent and giant companies, were selected via a “competitive bidding process.” Now that they’ve been approved, each company will apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to seek authorization for individual store locations. In total, 60 locations could be selling beer by this December.

Retailers selling the suds will have to follow requirements set out by the province, including creating designated sales areas, restricted hours of sale, limitations to package sizes and volume, and specially trained staff.

This past September, the provincial government also announced that The Beer Store and authorized grocery stores must give at least 20 percent of its shelf space to small brewers.

While only 60 locations will be authorized for December, the provincial government aims to have beer on the shelves of up to 450 grocery stores.