Alcohol sales in retail stores
Ontario is providing consumers with more choice and convenience by expanding the number of retail locations where alcohol can be sold.
Ontario consumers will be able to buy beer, wine, cider, coolers, seltzers, and other low-alcohol ready-to-drink beverages at all participating convenience, grocery and big box stores across the province, beginning no later than January 1, 2026.
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Currently, up to 450 grocery stores across Ontario can sell beer and cider – including about 225 that can sell wine.
This is in addition to more than 400 Beer Stores, more than 675 LCBO stores, and more than 385 LCBO Convenience Outlets.
Expanding alcohol sales in Ontario
Beginning no later than January 1, 2026, all convenience, grocery and big box grocery stores will be able to sell beer, wine, cider, coolers, seltzers, and other low-alcohol ready-to-drink beverages.
As a first step in the transition to a new retail marketplace, the government has informed Brewers Retail Inc. (The Beer Store) that the Master Framework Agreement (MFA), signed and extended for ten years by the previous government in 2015 and limited the number of retail stores that could be authorized to sell alcohol, will not be renewed after it expires on December 31, 2025.
The Beer store has agreed to continue its recycling and distribution until at least 2031.
There are currently up to 450 grocery stores that are allowed to sell beer and cider, and of those 225 also sell wine. Find one near you.
Starting no later than January 1, 2026 all grocery and big box grocery stores will be allowed to sell beer, wine, cider, coolers, seltzers, and other low-alcohol ready-to-drink beverages.
LCBO Convenience Outlets
Other alcohol expansion measures
The government has made substantial progress to expand choice and convenience for consumers while giving businesses more opportunities. Initiatives include:
- supporting bars, restaurants and other businesses with a licence to operate a liquor consumption premises by cutting wholesale prices for the alcohol they purchase from the LCBO, providing approximately $60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses.
- freezing the basic beer tax rates that were set to be indexed to inflation until March 1, 2023 to support beer and craft beer brewers to recover and grow, and to save consumers money.
- implementing a new legal framework for the sale, service and delivery of beverage alcohol – the first comprehensive update of Ontario’s liquor legislation in over 40 years – with highlights including:
- Allowing licensed grocery stores to offer curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider.
- Streamlining licensing and renewals for businesses through a single primary licence with endorsements for additional activities, such as on-site retail stores or brew pubs.
- Reducing red tape by streamlining reporting requirements for manufacturers.
- permanently allowing licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.
- making it easier for businesses to create and extend patios.
- allowing manufacturers with an on-site store to sell eligible beer, cider, wine and spirits products at farmers’ markets.
- supporting alcohol producers by creating more flexible delivery rules, including allowing eligible alcohol manufacturers to deliver their own products and charge a delivery fee.
- reducing the minimum price of spirits consumed at liquor consumption premises.
- permitting alcohol service on docked boats with a liquor sales licence.
- giving licensed restaurants and bars and retailers more flexibility in using liquor delivery services.
- Simplifying rules for the alcohol sector, allowing curbside beer/wine pickup at grocery stores, updating Smart Serve rules.
Rules for retailers
The Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 and its regulations govern the sale of beer, wine and cider in grocery stores across the province.
By 2026, consumers will have increased choice and convenience to purchase beverage alcohol products in many more retail locations, including the LCBO and The Beer Store. Minimum price policies will ensure Ontario continues its existing standards of promoting responsible consumption. LCBO retail stores will maintain consistent pricing across the province to help ensure consumers do not pay more based on where they live.
Selling alcohol is a public trust. Stores must follow mandatory rules when selling alcohol. These rules are part of the government’s commitment to ensure that alcohol is sold in a socially responsible manner.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario regulates alcohol retail sectors and ensures that beer, wine and cider are:
- not sold to anyone under Ontario’s legal drinking age of 19 or to intoxicated adults
- sold by fully trained staff who ensure Ontario’s standards for social responsibility are always met
- sold during standard hours of sale (7am – 11pm, 7 days per week)
- only available in a designated section of each store
Find a grocery store near you that sells beer, wine and cider