The province says grocery stores that are allowed to sell beer are now permitted to sell craft cider as well.
The sale of cider will be allowed at the first 60 grocery stores already selling beer across the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says allowing cider to be sold in grocery stores is part of the biggest shakeup to beverage alcohol retailing in Ontario since prohibition ended in 1927.
The shakeup began with last December’s launch of beer in grocery stores.
Wynne says “This summer, people can, for the first time, buy cider as well as beer in grocery stores across Ontario. As part of our shakeup of beverage alcohol sales, we are making it more convenient to buy cider, while expanding its availability in a socially responsible way.”
Today, the LCBO also launched a request for bids for 70 additional grocery stores to sell wine, beer and cider starting this fall.
Eventually, up to 300 grocery stores could sell wine, beer and cider. An additional 150 stores could be authorized to sell just beer and cider. As well, up to 150 existing winery retail stores that operate just outside a grocery store’s checkout will be permitted to move inside the store and share the checkout.
The LCBO’s sales of locally made craft cider grew by 54 per cent in 2015-16, to a total of $5.1 million.
The Chair of the Ontario Craft Cider Association, Thomas Wilson, says “Ontario’s craft cider producers are delighted to have our products available alongside beer in grocery stores. We are thrilled with the opportunities government has provided to open up our local products to reach Ontario consumers.”