04/16/2015 19:31 EDT | Updated 06/16/2015 01:12 EDT

10 things to know about beer-sales reform in Ontario

TORONTO - Ten things you should know about pending changes to the sale of beer in Ontario:— A new tax, approximately $1 on a case of 24, will be phased in over four years at 25 cents a year.— Major brewers will cap prices on their most popular brands, which represent about 50 per cent of the market, for the next two years.— Up to 450 grocery stores in urban areas (many small towns already have "combination" stores that are able to sell 12-packs and 24 cases) will be licensed to sell beer in six-packs or smaller sizes. Beer will be sold in separate sections of the store, operating during the same hours as the Beer Store.— A pilot project will see 12-packs of beer sold in 10 LCBO stores that are more than two kilometres from a Beer Store, so it doesn't "erode" Beer Store's business.— The Beer Store will spend $100 million to modernize their stores and all new stores will be open concept, self-serve formats.— Bars and restaurants that buy up to 250 cases of beer will be able to purchase the product at the same price as consumers.— Small brewers will see costs of retailing through the Beer Store fall by five to 10 per cent and will have a minimum of 20 per cent of shelf space.— The LCBO will create new boutiques for niche products such as craft beer and specialty spirits in stores, which will sell alcohol in different formats such as refillable beer containers.— An independent beer ombudsman will be appointed to address brewer and customer complaints.— An advisory council is still examining what to do about the distribution of wine and spirits.SOURCE: Liberal government/The Canadian Press