Is the Beer Store Gouging Bars and Restaurants?

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TORONTO — The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association (CRFA) recently raised the point that The Beer Store is charging bars and restaurants almost double the price for select beer brands than it does the public, and now the retailer is responding.

“Ontario’s craft brewers charge licensees and the public a similar price. In contrast, the companies that own The Beer Store mark up licensee prices by $10 to $15,” reads a note from the CRFA’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in pre-budget consultation held Jan. 16.

“We have absolutely nothing to do with prices,” responded Ted Moroz, president of the Beer Store as quoted by Toronto Life magazine. According to the magazine, The Beer Store is not responsible for setting the prices. Instead brewers set their prices through retailers, who are then notified of price changes on a week-to-week basis.

Some brewers report that increased prices for the licensees are due to special services provided to bars and restaurants such as delivery, draught-line cleaning, branded glassware and other marketing costs.

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