Apr 22, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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Some small brewers in Ontario worry that the government’s new deal with the Beer Store –  that promises to nearly triple their shelf space in the retail outlets – won’t achieve that goal.

Under the revised agreement with the foreign-owned Beer Store, the amount of shelf space for products from small and craft brewers is supposed to grow from seven to 20 percent.

But Matt Johnston of Collective Arts Brewing says the increased shelf space will apply only to 100 self-serve stores – not the majority of regular Beer Stores – where the product is kept out of sight.

Asked if small brewers will get 20 per cent of the warehouse or cooler space –  the Ministry of Finance says ”logistics are still under consideration.”

Johnston wants the government to mandate that the Beer Store ”tear down the wall” and convert all its stores to open-concept.

The Beer Store promised to spend $100-million over four years to modernize its retail outlets, and agreed all new stores will be open-concept and self-serve.

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