(Ottawa, Ontario): The Beer Store's monopoly needs to be broken to protect consumers, create local jobs in the craft brewery industry, and offer more choice to beer consumers. Attending Ottawa's first Brewery Market event, Deputy Leader Kevin O'Donnell introduced the Green Party of Ontario's initiative to allow local craft breweries to open retail stores and cooperate on wholesale distribution.
"Craft breweries are local job creators that offer unique products to local clientele. Unfortunately they cannot compete on a level playing field with The Beer Store," said O'Donnell. "This foreign-owned and government enforced monopoly exerts too much control on the retail and wholesale market and that's bad for competition and product selection. We need to allow craft breweries to cooperate on distribution and open Craft Beer Stores."
Under current laws craft breweries are unable to cooperate on distribution and need to duplicate efforts to service restaurants. The Green Party would allow breweries to cooperate on wholesale distribution to lower costs, free up capital, and spur growth in our local economy.
Currently breweries can only sell over the counter at the brewery itself. The Green Party would enable local breweries to form cooperative Craft Beer Stores so they can offer their local products to clients with greater convenience. Breweries already have trained staff that are licensed and trusted to sell beer to the retail market. Allowing them to market their products more effectively increases competition, creates local jobs, and protects consumers from monopoly forces.
"Ontario already licenses boutique stores to sell VQA wine. Our initiative would extend that capability to local breweries," said O'Donnell. "Today's Brewery Market has shown that a cooperative model that supports local producers benefits everyone. Beau's, Kichesippi, Broadhead, Cassels and Beyond the Pale deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field."