Wednesday, November 07, 2007


So if you live in Ontario, you only have two options for buying beer. Option number one is the communist alcohol distribution system, otherwise known as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Option number two is the Beer Store, which is a nice little monopoly owned and operated by the three giant beer corporations LaBatt, Molson (Coors) and Sleeman. I won’t get too far into what a terrible system this is right now, but if you’re interested in more information click here and here. Future posts by me and our resident beer expert (column starting soon!) will certainly address this further.

Yesterday, I went to the Beer Store to buy some, well, beer. (Has there ever been a better name for any type of establishment?) As exciting as a trip to the Beer Store should be, I am always intimidated. It’s not like any liquor store that I’m used to. Instead of grabbing a 12-pack myself, they have a big list of beers on the wall. Then you tell the beer store worker what you want, and he/she goes to the back and gets it for you. Or if they’re busy, they have a conveyor belt system working. It always freaks me out so much that I end up getting a beer I don't want.

You can also return your empty bottles to the Beer Store for cash. I did this yesterday for the first time. It seemed like a simple enough task. I give the bottle taker guy a bunch of empty bottles, then he gives me money. But I was totally thrown off when the bottle taker guy asked me how many bottles I had. You mean I have to count them on my own? While I counted my beer bottles (some of which were worth .10 and some of which were worth .20), I turned around and noticed two bums with lots of empty bottles looking very annoyed. I try to make it a general rule not to anger bums, especially when alcohol is involved, so I let them go ahead. When I got back to the front of the line, I told the bottle taker guy I had 28 bottles, 12 of which were worth 20 cents. He then gave me a dirty look and counted my bottles! WTF? He trusts two bums more than he trusts me. Must have been my central Illinois accent.

Anyway, the Beer Store gets 2 Hortons. I love the name of the place and their environmental friendliness, but the system needs work. The Beer Store I go to actually has a pretty decent selection of smaller Ontario breweries, but if you want any beer that’s not made in Ontario or made by one of the three breweries that own the place, forget it (except for Budweiser, of course). And the prices are insane. The Beer Store could really use some competition. It works in Minnesota.


Indiana John said...

I'm wondering if they have other beverages in the Beer Store or do they have places called the Liquor Store or the Soda store or the Milk Store. And I don't believe they should get two Hortons the way they treat an American.

Johnada said...

No other beverages in the Beer Store, just beer. The liquor is available only at the LCBO, which I'm sure will be covered in a future post, but I sort of talked about it in the beginning. They do have a place called Milk Plus, which features milk plus other stuff, like soda.

Karen said...

Did you know that you can also return your wine bottles at the Beer Store? You get your 20cent deposit back - the one you payed to the LCBO when you bought the bottle. Why doesn't the LCBO take them back? I have no idea, its rather silly.

BTW, we don't sell/drink 'soda' - its 'pop'. 2008

Blogger Templates by 2008