When I was a kid, and I mean a child, I used to go sometimes with one of my parents to the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission when they would go and buy beverages for the house. You would have to fill out a form, indicated how many bottles of an item you wanted, turn in the form, pay for it, and they would bundle your purchase and you left. That was in the old days. Now alcoholic beverages are purchased everywhere in the State of Michigan. You can go to grocery stores, pharmacies and party stores or as some people refer to them as convenience stores. In fact lately even some large gas stations that are like small markets now sell beer, wine and liquor. In a few years, no one will hardly remember the old state run monopoly that was in effect.
I mention all of this because if you go South of the border in Detroit, you will enter Canada, I might add that it is the only location where Canada is South of the border; and the provinces of Canada still have monopolies. In Ontario one had to go to the Brewers Retail, which is now called The Beer Store to buy beer and then you had to go to the Liquor Control Board, now called LCBO to buy liquor and wine. These are still in effect today for Canadians, so if the province doesn’t like a brand, you may never get a chance to try it at home. I mean governments are not big on offering selections.
All of this is being discussed, because my newest character on these pages “The Messenger” sent me a copy of The Globe and Mail newspaper article that was titled “Alcohol sales on tap for Ontario grocers, but not convenience stores.” The provincial monopoly in Ontario is being slowly eroded away, which has occurred in other provinces already. The government of course at the moment has plenty of rules and regulations for the grocery stores, including the fact that they must still buy the goods from the monopoly at their selling price, so the profit margins will be almost nil, but I am sure the big chains are looking at it, as a draw of convenience for the customer. The grocery stores will be allowed to sell single bottles of beer and six packs, but only The Beer Store can sell beer by the case, and the beer sections in the grocery stores will have to keep the same business hours as The Beer Store; so they will have to be able to cordon off and close a section of the store. I mention this article, because the next category that will be studied will be wine, and I am sure that once the flood gates are opened a bit, the demand for brands will probably increase as well, giving the consumers more choices. It is just interesting to see this slowly unfolding.