Local Beer Liberation

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2014

(London): Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, says Green MPPs will take bold action to support Ontario’s craft breweries.

“I love local beer, but it is not just about beer. It’s about farms, artisans, and local businesses. And it’s about fairness,” says Schreiner. “Independent craft breweries just don’t have the same access to the consumer that the big three international brewers because of the Beer Store monopoly. We want to change that.”

There are more than 150 microbreweries, brew pubs, and small contract brewers in Ontario. Sales are booming: in 2013, according to the LCBO, Ontario craft beer grew 28% over the previous year.

Craft breweries want to be able to open their own stores, which would allow them to stock the shelves without paying the Beer Store’s prohibitive fees. They also want to be able to cooperate on distribution so that they can get their beer to restaurants and bars more easily.

The Green Party is calling for the Beer Store’s monopoly to be broken up to create a fair playing field, foster local jobs in the craft brewing industry, and offer more choice to consumers. The Beer Store is foreign-owned and a virtual monopoly in Ontario’s marketplace.

“I will continue to push the government to support our local craft breweries, said Schreiner. “I will push the government to change legislation to allow craft breweries to cooperate on distribution and to open Craft Beer Stores.”

Kevin Labonte, Green Party candidate in London North Centre, accompanied Schreiner to Forked River Brewery in London. “We need to liberate local beer,” said Labonte. “It’s not fair to keep stuff this good from the people who will enjoy it.”

Mike Schreiner and the Green Party are committed to bringing good beer to Ontarians and honesty, integrity, and good public policy to Queen’s Park.

Media contact: Candice Lepage