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Ontario Craft Brewers

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The Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) is a trade association representing 83 small, independent breweries in the Canadian province of Ontario.[1]

Ontario Craft Brewers
TypeTrade Association
IndustryBeer Brewing
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of members83


The OCB was founded in 2003 as the Ontario Small Brewers Association to work collectively on marketing and communications programs to promote local breweries and the craft beer being brewed in Ontario.[2] The OCB is funded by member dues and grants provided by the Government of Ontario.[3] The association adopted the name Ontario Craft Brewers and launched their first marketing campaign under that brand in Spring 2005.[4]

Craft brewing methods

As proponents of the North American craft beer movement, the Ontario Craft Brewers have published a formal OCB Brewing Philosophy mandating members to employ traditional brewing methods, including: brewing in small batches; the use of natural quality ingredients; fermentation to final gravity without dilution; and the avoidance of preservatives or additives.[5]

Market position

Since the OCB formed and launched its marketing campaigns, there has been a reported growth in the sales of craft beer within the Ontario market.[6] Craft breweries still currently control less than 5 percent of the provincial beer market. Over 89 per cent of beer in Ontario is sold by The Beer Store (TBS), which is owned by AB InBev, Molson Coors, and Sapporo.[7] The remainder of beer in the province is sold by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), a provincial crown corporation solely responsible for the sale of liquor and spirits in Ontario,[8] and by licensed bars, restaurants, and grocery stores.

Ontario Craft Beer Retailing

Beer Retail Changes

The Ontario craft brewing industry expansion was supported by changes to the retailing landscape brought in by the Government of Ontario, including: beer sold in grocery stores, a new Beer Framework and governance structure for the Beer Store, co-shipping among craft breweries, and a minimum of 20% shelf space allocation in TBS and grocery stores.[9]

Beer In Grocery Stores

Starting in mid-December 2015, Ontarians were able to purchase beer in grocery stores, with 58 outlets, comprising grocery store chains and independents, initially licensed across the province.[10] Major Canadian retailer Loblaws led the way by hosting a media launch event in Toronto with the Premier of Ontario and Minister of Finance, and a commitment to stock approximately 50 per cent local, Ontario craft beer. In its first week, Loblaws' sales exceeded expectations, and the company announced plans to expand beer sales.[11]

Ontario Craft Beer Week

In June 2010, the Ontario Craft Brewers initiated the first annual Ontario Craft Beer Week, a festival featuring events taking place at OCB breweries, as well as various bars and restaurants around the province.[12]


  1. ^ "Ontario Craft Brewers Breweries List". Ontario Craft Brewers.
  2. ^ "About Us". Ontario Craft Brewers.
  3. ^ "Ontario Craft Brewers Opportunity Fund". Government of Ontario.
  4. ^ "25 Ontario Craft Brewers Form a Marketing Cooperative". Marketwire Incorporated.
  5. ^ "Brewing Philosophy". Ontario Craft Brewers.
  6. ^ "Microbreweries: Small brewers, good fighters". Canadian Business magazine. October 12, 2009.
  7. ^ "Operational Report, 2008" (PDF). The Beer Store.
  8. ^ "Annual Report, 2008". Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
  9. ^ "Province Takes Next Steps to Modernize Beer Retailing". Government of Ontario. September 23, 2015.
  10. ^ "Full list of Ontario grocery stores that sell beer: 58 grocery stores across Ontario to sell beer starting today". CBC News. Dec 15, 2015.
  11. ^ "Loblaw says it will devote more retail space for beer in Ontario". The Financial Post. Dec 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "Raising a toast to local brew". The Toronto Star. June 15, 2010.

External links