The Beer Store was created in 1927 by a group of brewers working with the Government of Ontario to create a responsible system for beer distribution in the province. Following the repeal of prohibition, the Ontario government struggled with how best to manage the sale of alcohol and wasn’t prepared for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to invest in a separate system to handle beer. After turning the issue back to the brewers of Ontario to resolve, the companies joined forces to create Brewers Warehousing Company Limited to provide an effective distribution system for beer in Ontario.
Many changes have occurred since then, including our corporate name. Although Brewers Retail Inc. is our legal name, our customers know us best by what we are – The Beer Store. In 80 years of operation, we have adopted innovative concepts and policies that have helped The Beer Store become a world leader in the beverage alcohol industry, such as: the refillable, industry-standard bottle; a commitment to recover 100 per cent of beer packaging; a responsible sale program to ensure that beer is sold safely and properly; a single source for draught equipment services for licensed establishments; system-wide refrigeration; and an inventory management system that ensures the sale of fresh beer. The Beer Store is owned by three Ontario brewers: Labatt, Molson and Sleeman. While the company is private, the nature of the industry means that laws and regulations impact our business. As a result, The Beer Store management maintains a close working relationship with the Government of Ontario through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and the Ministry of Government Services. Through these agencies, the Ontario Government regulates issues such as minimum age for purchase, hours of sale, selling price, labeling and product integrity, and approval of store locations.