Hot weather is on the horizon, and with that goes a cold beer.
The Ontario government is encouraging consumers to mark Ontario Craft Beer Week by supporting local producers as the province takes steps to help the sector recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Included is a move to expand made-in-Ontario options at the LCBO with increased marketing, converting available shelf space to profile Ontario products, and making more products available for sale..The change is effective June 21 until October.
"Buying local not only supports Ontario's wineries, breweries, cideries, distilleries, and other local producers, but it also means getting a quality product to enjoy responsibly," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "Our alcohol sector told us they are being negatively impacted by the measures that have been necessary to contain COVID-19."
Other initiatives include:
- Pausing increases to beer and wine taxes, previously scheduled to take effect in spring 2020;
- Temporarily allowing licensed restaurants and bars to sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.;
- Temporarily allowing licensed restaurants and bars to sell spirits at a lower price with food takeout and delivery orders;
- Allowing restaurants and bars to temporarily create or extend outdoor patio spaces to safely accommodate patrons and staff once licensed establishments are permitted to reopen for business;
- Making it easier for cideries to sell directly to consumers by temporarily removing the requirement for cideries to have five acres of planted fruit to qualify for an on-site store;
"Our province is home to some of the best breweries and wineries in the world who produce top quality craft beers and world-class wines. Now more than ever, I encourage you to support Ontario's many great craft producers by choosing and responsibly enjoying local," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture.
With most of the province in stage two of Ontario's Framework to Reopen Our Province, many people can now enjoy Ontario-made beverage alcohol on patios of their local bars and restaurants.
This year, Ontario Craft Beer Week runs from June 14-20