Canadian craft brewers call for shake up

Ontario Craft Brewers want to shake up the system in which their beer is sold.

“Ontario Craft Brewers strongly believe that Ontario beer consumers are not well served by the restriction of The Beer Store ownership to only three competitors,” the craft brewers’ president John Hay said.

Together, the country’s three largest brewers control a network of 440 stores that account for 85 per cent of all Ontario beer sales. Founded in 1927 as Brewers Warehousing, The Beer Store used to be a non-profit co-operative owned by all the brewers that used it.

The small brewers say The Beer Store has become a foreign-owned monopoly that serves mainly the interests of the three big multinational beer companies that control it through their ownership stakes in Molson, Labatt and Sleeman.