Perfect Pint Law for Ontario?

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Kel Varnsen
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:29 pm

cratez wrote:
The general list selection is abysmal compared to most other Canadian provinces and hoppy beers of any sort continue to elude the shelves of the LCBO. In fact, a couple of the best beers available (DFH 60 Minute & Victory Prima Pils) just got de-listed. That leaves us with Southern Tier IPA and, this upcoming February, Tree Double Hop Head IPA. Pretty pathetic considering the size of Ontario and the number of urban metropolitan areas within it.


My understanding is the lack of DFH60 is a result of a production shortage at the brewery, so I am not sure how the LCBO can be blamed for that. By that logic, the ministry of transportation is to blame because I can't buy a 2011 Pontiac, since the MTO is the one that approves which cars can be sold in the province.
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Postby cratez » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:23 am

Kel Varnsen wrote: My understanding is the lack of DFH60 is a result of a production shortage at the brewery


You're absolutely correct. However, can you really fault cynical consumers for observing that it's always the well-hopped beers that get de-listed, while malty-sweet slop like Innis & Gunn gets heavily promoted by the Board with favourable shelving (i.e. end displays plus regular shelf space) and name drops in Food & Drink magazine? Why doesn't Southern Tier IPA, DFH 60 Minute, Victory Prima Pils, and Anchor Liberty Ale get the same treatment? Is it simply a coincidence?

Did Prima Pils "not sell well enough" because it sat on the shelves of flagship stores in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and London (the major city centres), or because it was distributed to disparate stores in the sticks with zero promotion? Notice how much of the left-over stock is in Hawkesbury, Napanee, Peterborough, and Smiths Falls?

Just sayin'
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Postby The_Jester » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:04 am

cratez wrote:...Did Prima Pils "not sell well enough" because it sat on the shelves of flagship stores in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and London (the major city centres), or because it was distributed to disparate stores in the sticks with zero promotion?...


It didn't sell 'cause it's $16 a six, and because it only appeals to beer geeks. The average "pilsner" drinker ain't that adventurous. Prima Pils is not a good gateway beer for Blue drinkers.
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Postby kwjd » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:17 am

Kel Varnsen wrote:
cratez wrote:
The general list selection is abysmal compared to most other Canadian provinces and hoppy beers of any sort continue to elude the shelves of the LCBO. In fact, a couple of the best beers available (DFH 60 Minute & Victory Prima Pils) just got de-listed. That leaves us with Southern Tier IPA and, this upcoming February, Tree Double Hop Head IPA. Pretty pathetic considering the size of Ontario and the number of urban metropolitan areas within it.


My understanding is the lack of DFH60 is a result of a production shortage at the brewery, so I am not sure how the LCBO can be blamed for that. By that logic, the ministry of transportation is to blame because I can't buy a 2011 Pontiac, since the MTO is the one that approves which cars can be sold in the province.


I don't blame the LCBO for DFH60 not being on shelves, but I do blame them for not trying to find a replacement from one of the other 1000 American IPA's. Actually, I blame them that none of the other 1000 were on the shelves in the first place.
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Postby Torontoblue » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:23 am

kwjd wrote:
Kel Varnsen wrote:
cratez wrote:
The general list selection is abysmal compared to most other Canadian provinces and hoppy beers of any sort continue to elude the shelves of the LCBO. In fact, a couple of the best beers available (DFH 60 Minute & Victory Prima Pils) just got de-listed. That leaves us with Southern Tier IPA and, this upcoming February, Tree Double Hop Head IPA. Pretty pathetic considering the size of Ontario and the number of urban metropolitan areas within it.


My understanding is the lack of DFH60 is a result of a production shortage at the brewery, so I am not sure how the LCBO can be blamed for that. By that logic, the ministry of transportation is to blame because I can't buy a 2011 Pontiac, since the MTO is the one that approves which cars can be sold in the province.


I don't blame the LCBO for DFH60 not being on shelves, but I do blame them for not trying to find a replacement from one of the other 1000 American IPA's. Actually, I blame them that none of the other 1000 were on the shelves in the first place.


Why not become and agent for a brewery that makes one of these 1000 AIPA's and get it listed at the LCBO; you'll be happy then.
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Postby SteelbackGuy » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:30 am

The_Jester wrote:
cratez wrote:...Did Prima Pils "not sell well enough" because it sat on the shelves of flagship stores in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and London (the major city centres), or because it was distributed to disparate stores in the sticks with zero promotion?...


It didn't sell 'cause it's $16 a six,



This.

I passed it up every single time.
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Postby kwjd » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:42 am

Torontoblue wrote:Why not become and agent for a brewery that makes one of these 1000 AIPA's and get it listed at the LCBO; you'll be happy then.


That's a lot of work for a single product compared to someone living in Buffalo (or just about any US city) that just has to go out to the store and has a wide selection.
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Postby Belgian » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:55 am

The wonderful thing about a circular discussion is you can just kick back & watch it go round & round... for years! I am reading this thread with a big grin!

Have a great day folks. :D
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Torontoblue
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Postby Torontoblue » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:59 am

Belgian wrote:The wonderful thing about a circular discussion is you can just kick back & watch it go round & round... for years! I am reading this thread with a big grin!

Have a great day folks. :D


Groundhog Day is wonderful, isn't it. :wink:
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cratez
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Postby cratez » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:01 pm

SteelbackGuy wrote:
The_Jester wrote: It didn't sell 'cause it's $16 a six
This. I passed it up every single time.


But I and many others didn't. It was a standard purchase for me at my local LCBO. I raised the distribution question because every time Prima came to London at the Wonderland & Southdale store it sold out quickly, usually within a few weeks or a month at most. If you send it to Bobcaygeon or Owen Sound - where, as The Jester rightly notes, brand loyal Blue drinkers are far less likely to reach for it - then of course it won't sell.

The same thing is happening right now with Paddock Wood. The Control Board has denied the brewery entry into crucial urban markets where it would no doubt move fast and has instead (arbitrarily) decided to distribute the beers to rural LCBOs and Beer Stores in smaller cities (Burlington, Brampton, etc). Don't be surprised when, in a year or so, you hear about Paddock Wood being "de-listed" from both stores because for some mysterious reason it didn't sell well enough.
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Postby Ukie » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:45 pm

The_Jester wrote:
cratez wrote:...Did Prima Pils "not sell well enough" because it sat on the shelves of flagship stores in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and London (the major city centres), or because it was distributed to disparate stores in the sticks with zero promotion?...


It didn't sell 'cause it's $16 a six, and because it only appeals to beer geeks. The average "pilsner" drinker ain't that adventurous. Prima Pils is not a good gateway beer for Blue drinkers.


I find people pass on quality because its $16 for six and then turnaround and pay $6 a pint for some macro at a bar.
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Postby GregClow » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:20 pm

cratez wrote:The same thing is happening right now with Paddock Wood. The Control Board has denied the brewery entry into crucial urban markets where it would no doubt move fast and has instead (arbitrarily) decided to distribute the beers to rural LCBOs and Beer Stores in smaller cities (Burlington, Brampton, etc).


The LCBO have absolutely nothing to do with what Beer Stores Paddock Wood is available in.

As Cass noted in a news post last month, the reason that PW beers are only available in rural Beer Stores at the moment is because the brewery misunderstood the listing approval they received from the LCBO and thought it included stores in Toronto and other larger centres. So they concentrated their Beer Store release to smaller towns. This is being changed by PW, and the beers should be available in Beer Stores in larger cities soon.

This still doesn't explain why the LCBO only approved PW beers for the "Combination" LCBOs in smaller communities - although perhaps the fact that Paddock Wood was also pursuing a Beer Store listing had something to so with it - i.e. the LCBO figured that the beers would get good distribution via the Beer Store, so only approved it for LCBO locations in towns that have no Beer Store.
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Postby Belgian » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:24 pm

GregClow wrote:... i.e. the LCBO figured that the beers would get good distribution via the Beer Store, so only approved it for LCBO locations in towns that have no Beer Store.


Yeah, that shining example of Craft Beer Goodness... TBS! ;) I can see the LC may actually believe that.

However Paddock Wood might be a nice bonus for returning empties at TBS, if people just know it's there and it sells well for freshness. Hopefully the walk-in display stores may carry it.
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Postby cratez » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:03 pm

GregClow wrote: This still doesn't explain why the LCBO only approved PW beers for the "Combination" LCBOs in smaller communities


Exactly, and in that regard my point stands. Relegating obscure micro beers to country locations will almost guarantee that PW "doesn't sell well" in LCBO stores, thereby making a future de-listing all the more likely. Funny how this happens with a new craft entry into the Ontario market, but wasn't the practice for Bud Light Lime when it came here two summers ago.

BTW my comment regarding the Board dictating which Beer Stores would receive the beers was based on what I was told by a TBS manager in Kitchener. When he was searching the store database for Czech Mate, he said verbatim, "oh, that's one that the LCBO ordered in for us." Now maybe he was just making up some BS, as 2 minutes prior to searching he insisted that they didn't have the beer and wouldn't be getting it in.

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