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Ontario lowering wholesale alcohol prices for restaurants and bars


Toronto – The Ontario government is lowering LCBO wholesale prices for bars and restaurants, enabling curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider from licensed grocery stores, and freezing the basic beer tax rate.

The province is giving bars, restaurants and other businesses a licence to operate a liquor consumption premises by cutting wholesale prices for the alcohol they purchase from the LCBO, saving these businesses an effective 20 per cent when compared to retail prices.

This action is intended to improve alcohol choice and convenience for consumers, create more opportunities for businesses, and strengthen social responsibility standards, including enabling curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider at licensed grocery stores as part of the new modernized legal framework that simplifies rules for the alcohol sector.

The government has also frozen the basic beer tax rates that were set to be indexed to inflation on March 1, 2022 to support beer and craft beer brewers to recover and grow, and to save consumers money. The beer basic tax rates are prescribed amounts of tax added to beer sold in Ontario. The rates adjust annually based on the Consumer Price Index. The government is freezing the beer tax rates until March 1, 2023.

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Highlights of the new legal framework for the sale, service and delivery of beverage alcohol include:

  • allowing licensed grocery stores to offer curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider
  • streamlining licensing and renewals for businesses through a single primary licence with endorsements for additional activities, such as on-site retail stores or brew pubs
  • reducing red tape by streamlining reporting requirements for manufacturers
  • increasing flexibility for grocers to cross-promote beer, cider and wine with non-alcohol products
  • enhancing social responsibility in the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s Registrar’s Standards by requiring individuals who sell, serve or handle alcohol to recertify their Smart Serve training
  • making permanent the extension of retail sale hours to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. for alcohol that were put in place in March 2020 in response to COVID-19