LCBO Winter Warmers 2010

This forum is for discussing current and upcoming LCBO, Beer Store and Grocery Store releases and policies.

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bullring
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Postby bullring » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:13 pm

Lukie wrote:
bullring wrote:I hope I can get a chance to try the Quadrupel!


It is fantastico. One of my first experiences with fine beers. Def under rated imo.


I'm new to drinking beer, so maybe this will be the same for me too. Thanks.
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Postby pootz » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:39 am

SteelbackGuy wrote:This government monopoly can't get anything right. What a shitty release. Back where I am from, in my day, this would just be a piss fest. Pffft!


Freudian truths in that statement Len. ;-)

Even though you intended this as sarcasm, I suspect an unstated note of disappointment and regret in that face value statement Len. I feel this way to a certain degree as well. At the risk of being critical of the limitations of the omnipotent liquor control monopoly ( I see 'battered wife' syndrome in its defenders - a false empathy with one's jailer/tormentor). I have to look beyond the narrow bureaucratic mediocrity of LCBO's Craft beer program. I see, for instance, the excellent BC winter brews that Derek talks of and wonder why these CANADIAN micros are not part of an winter LCBO release....or the winter seasonals from NS or Quebec?

I welcome what is available (even though much is the same as last year) because under the consumer despotism of state market monopolies it's better than nothing... but let's not lose sight of the fact that it could be far far better.

Even with all the whining the Micros do about the private sector "three-tier" distribution system in the US....even as fragmented and top weighted as it is, the average beer geek in CowFart, Kansas has more access to a larger selection of domestic micro brews, at a local retail level, than we do. Timorously and enthusiastically awaiting the arrival of the few consumer choices a state monopoly decides to allow is a consumer conditioning-rationing game soviets played in the isolationist cold war era. Is that type of command marketing good enough for modern Canadian consumers and domestic economies?

Likker Tyrant bashing mode off!

Now we can go back to obsessing over the limited choices our benificent liquor lords give us. Enjoy.... and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain....I am the mighty OZ!!! Bwaaaaa Hahahahahaha :wink:
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Postby heebes » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:03 pm

couldn't have said it better, wholly agree
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:19 pm

pootz wrote: I see, for instance, the excellent BC winter brews that Derek talks of and wonder why these CANADIAN micros are not part of an winter LCBO release....or the winter seasonals from NS or Quebec?


When I lived in BC we would go for tours of the Vancouver island brewery all the time. I remember one time asking them about their beer availabilty. They basically said from their point of view there goal was serving their local area and the bc lower mainland. They weren't really interested in going much farther than that because it means increased issues with things like expanded production dealing with shipping. And its not like you can get something like Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout in Vancouver, so why would you expect to get something like Hermannator in Ontario?
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Postby markaberrant » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:23 pm

Kel Varnsen wrote:When I lived in BC we would go for tours of the Vancouver island brewery all the time. I remember one time asking them about their beer availabilty. They basically said from their point of view there goal was serving their local area and the bc lower mainland. They weren't really interested in going much farther than that because it means increased issues with things like expanded production dealing with shipping. And its not like you can get something like Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout in Vancouver, so why would you expect to get something like Hermannator in Ontario?


I know of some craft brewers that submitted entries to the LCBO, but were turned down.
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Postby Derek » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:05 pm

Kel Varnsen wrote:And its not like you can get something like Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout in Vancouver, so why would you expect to get something like Hermannator in Ontario?


Supply and demand?

There's a number of great breweries in BC, but the population is less than 5 million. The population of Toronto is 2.5 million, the GTA is more than twice that and Ontario is over 13 million. Shipping to a larger consumer market would probably make more sense (than vise-versa), and a bunch of Foreign breweries do it.

I was always surprised that the LCBO didn't get more Canadian craft. Though I guess the average consumer will more likely pay a premium for a foreign import.
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Postby Ukie » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:45 am

Derek wrote:
I was always surprised that the LCBO didn't get more Canadian craft. Though I guess the average consumer will more likely pay a premium for a foreign import.


Derek's comment made me think about my past purchases and more or less:

Canadian (the country not the beer) - 80%
US - 10%
UK - 6%
Germany - 3%
other- 1%

I don't think its because of nationalism, at least not on the conscious level. I think its because of this board and people travelling thru Canada and living in different parts that have said to try this beer or that beer.

I would rather buy Canadian craft than say anything European, not out of prejudice, but maybe because subconsciously I know what to expect. A new craft beer from Winnipeg rather than a B+ beer from Lower Slobovia.
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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:51 am

Ukie wrote:
Derek wrote:

Canadian (the country not the beer) - 80%
US - 10%
UK - 6%
Germany - 3%
other- 1%
That's interesting. I would estimate my past craft beer purchases to be about as follows:

USA: 70%
Canada: 25%
Europe: 5%

To be completely honest, I think the percentage would be much more heavily weighted towards the US if not for having to drive 1.5 hours and pay duty to get my hands on the stuff. And, if the LCBO had better representation of non-Ontario craft beer I would have more than 25% Canadian representation. The 25% is only as high as it is because of availability...
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:27 am

markaberrant wrote:
Kel Varnsen wrote:When I lived in BC we would go for tours of the Vancouver island brewery all the time. I remember one time asking them about their beer availabilty. They basically said from their point of view there goal was serving their local area and the bc lower mainland. They weren't really interested in going much farther than that because it means increased issues with things like expanded production dealing with shipping. And its not like you can get something like Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout in Vancouver, so why would you expect to get something like Hermannator in Ontario?


I know of some craft brewers that submitted entries to the LCBO, but were turned down.


Fair enough, but I think for most breweries in other provinces my point probably still stands. I mean if your whole major selling point is that you are hand crafted product made in small batches for your local customers; if that is successful for you, would you really want to throw it away to ship to other provinces and compete with their local products? I mean to use a different example, there are tons of great small restaurants all over the world as well. Why don't more of them franchise or expand so that they have locations in Ontario too?
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Postby Derek » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:17 pm

The "drink local" is a great argument.

I really try as much as I can, but as they say, variety is the spice of life.

But how do we define local? Southern Tier is closer to the LCBO distribution warehouse than most Canadian breweries. But is it better to support a Canadian craft brewer? Inbev, Coors and Saporo employ A LOT of Canadians in their 'Local' plants, but ultimately the profits go elsewhere. 'Local' is a bit blury.

I understand your point that many small craft brewers are happy if they can serve their local market, but it'd be nice if the LCBO would show a little more support for the ones that would like to expand. I understand that it's sales driven, but bring them in on a seasonal order and see how they do! It wouldn't make any sense to bring in a mediocre pale ale to compete with some of the excellent local brews, but there's a variety of unique brews that have no local competition (like some of the DDC that have done well).
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The_Jester
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Postby The_Jester » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:51 pm

markaberrant wrote:I know of some craft brewers that submitted entries to the LCBO, but were turned down.



Who?
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Postby Ukie » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:12 pm

Maybe if its a question of floor or shelf space or logistics the LC should look a dropping the macro beers in the big cities that have TBS and give that space to craft brewery beers.

I mean if you are going to be a monopoly and not allow grocery store sales then try to keep everybody happy. I would think this would kill off privatization talk or at least grocery store sales talk. Give the people what they want. All dictators eventually are overthrown by the peasants.
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Postby Derek » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:55 pm

Ukie wrote:Maybe if its a question of floor or shelf space or logistics the LC should look a dropping the macro beers in the big cities that have TBS and give that space to craft brewery beers.

I mean if you are going to be a monopoly and not allow grocery store sales then try to keep everybody happy. I would think this would kill off privatization talk or at least grocery store sales talk. Give the people what they want. All dictators eventually are overthrown by the peasants.


Corporatism is a better descriptor. The big businesses wouldn't want to loose any market share by removing the 6 & 12 packs from the LCBO (note you HAVE to go to TBS for a case of 24).
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Postby Ukie » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:41 pm

Actually the LC carries 28's and 24's in some of the smaller towns, although I suspect there may not be TBS close by. Although I see Huntsville carries 24's of Coors Light and Thunder Bay carries some 24's and they have TBS. I don't really know where I am going with this but anyways. My point is why have an LC in Hamilton on the same lot as TBS carrying the same products, when that LC sold over 30 cases of GL Pumpkin. What else could they have sold had they had the space?

Failing that, I would bet if the LC opened a boutique/Super Craft Beer store in every major city in Ontaro, including Hamilton, it would kill. At least 1 store per city carrying every possible craft beer listed on the LC site. Even open it up like a farmers market. You run a craft brewery, want us to sell your product, submit it for testing and if it passes bring it on in to our Boutiques.

Anybody from LCBO marketing out there?
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Postby Derek » Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:38 pm

Ukie wrote:Actually the LC carries 28's and 24's in some of the smaller towns, although I suspect there may not be TBS close by.


I had forgot about those... but that's a good point. It's done when it's in the interest of the big brewers to do so.

We've strayed way off-topic here... on a positive note, I think the seasonal releases are really great (I'm going to miss them, there's definitely a few in this one that I'd pick up), but there is room for improvement.

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