Beer Retail

A closer look at the details behind Wynne's plan for beer in grocery stores

standard A closer look at the details behind Wynne’s plan for beer in grocery stores

I did a just-the-facts story on Premier Wynne’s beer in grocery stores announcement for the day job at Post City. It’s a complicated situation (intentionally, I think), so I have decided to also put together a blog post to cover some depth, subjective impressions from the press conference and my commentary. First, I’ll say that Kathleen Wynne is a politician who seems to be both charismatic and solid on policy. Ed Clark, as a former bank CEO (not to mention designer of the NEP in his previous career as a civil servant), was more than qualified for his role leading […]

LCBO Winter 2014 Craft Beer Release Prices

standard LCBO Winter 2014 Craft Beer Release Prices

I quite enjoyed the process of creating my table of craft beer benchmark prices. There seemed to be a fairly enthusiastic response to it. But, why keep going with this shtick? Well, despite the implication from Garrett Oliver a while back on Facebook that one would have to be a real wet blanket to consider beer based on its price per litre, I think this is something that needs more attention. In Toronto, there are enough beer writers scribbling away that we do a very good job of packing the LCBO’s small tasting room to the brim and yet, I feel like value has […]

Benchmarking craft beer prices in Ontario

standard Ontario Craft Beer Benchmark Prices

Just like every other system, the LCBO and Beer Store duopoly has its pluses and minuses. It’s worth noting that getting Ontarians a comparatively good price on certain craft beers – especially classic, but high production Belgians like Rochefort 8 and Chimay Blue – is one of the appreciated up-sides. It’s also clear from sales data, conversations I’ve had with employees, and rough observation that the LCBO has devoted a big chunk of its selection of the past couple years to new Ontario beers. If “supporting local” is a priority for you, then this should make you smile, at least begrudgingly. As […]

LCBO Beer Guy Interview (Unexpurgated Version)

standard LCBO Beer Guy Interview (Unexpurgated Version)

I really love talking about food and beer. It comes with the territory as a freelance writer who focuses on those topics. For a recent Eater Toronto story, I got to do an interview that was intriguing enough that it went on for a couple hours and I had to chop quite a bit of it to make it down to a reasonable length. Josh Bird (a.k.a The Beer Phantom) who recently left the LCBO was the answering half of the Q & A. While he worked there, Josh was a customer service rep and the “beer guy” at the LCBO […]