Beer sales coming to 80 more Ontario grocery stores

More Ontario grocery stores will be allowed to sell beer and cider as soon as this summer, as the LCBO opens up a bidding process for 80 new permits across the province.

Grocers who bid on the new authorizations must apply online by March 10, 2017

More Ontario grocery stores will be allowed to sell beer and cider as soon as this summer, as the LCBO opens up a bidding process for 80 new permits across the province.

Right now, 130 grocery stores have the required authorization to sell beer under the program, launched with great fanfare by the government of Ontario in December 2015. The province is ultimately aiming for beer sales at 450 grocery stores.

"This is another step in getting beer and cider into 80 new grocery stores and helping to increase convenience and choice for shoppers across the province," said Ontario finance minister Charles Sousa in a press release.

Grocery stores that sell beer must follow strict rules set out by the province. Beer must be stocked in designated areas, can only be sold in six-packs and singles, and costs the same as beer at LCBO stores. Grocery stores cannot sell beer stronger than 7.1 per cent alcohol by volume.

Grocers that wish to bid on the new authorizations must apply online by March 10, 2017, and winners will be announced in May. Sales are expected to begin this summer.