Toronto

Ontario bars, restaurants want to sell take-home beer to public

The people who own restaurants, bars and pubs in Ontario have an idea to give consumers another option to buy beer — so-called "off sales" from their establishments.

Beer to go

6 years ago
2:45
Should the government allow the sale of take-away beer from bars and restaurants? 2:45

The people who own restaurants, bars and pubs in Ontario have an idea to give consumers another option to buy beer — so-called "off sales" from their establishments.

The industry group Restaurants Canada says six provinces, including Quebec and British Columbia, already allow restaurants and bars to sell beer for home consumption as part of their liquor licences.

Restaurants Canada vice-president James Rilett says staff in restaurants and bars are trained to sell alcoholic beverages, and calls the idea of "off sales" a natural evolution in Ontario's retail system.

Rilett says "off sales" would also mean wider distribution for craft and micro brewers who complain about their limited access to the LCBO and Beer Store.

The Liberal government has already made it clear the spring budget will include changes to the way beer and wine are sold in Ontario.

Premier Kathleen Wynne ruled out the idea of selling beer and wine in corner stores, but signalled some grocery stores will be granted licences.

Restaurants Canada suggested the "off sales" option in a presentation to the special advisory panel on government assets headed by former TD Bank Chair Ed Clark.

"Craft beer and microbrews were the No. 1 hot trend in the Restaurants Canada 2015 Chef Survey," said Rilett. "Food items are increasingly being paired with craft beverages, which has helped to grow the trend."

Ontario Craft Brewers have asked the government to allow them to open at least one off-site store per brewery and to let them sell each other's products in their existing on-site stores, and idea Wynne said was under consideration.

However, the premier said she wants to wait until Clark's report to the government before making any decisions on how spirits, wine and beer should be sold.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now