Monday, June 12, 2006

Beer Store Injustice

First some background, in the Province of Ontario the sale of all beer and alcohol is regulated by the Liquor Control Board (LCBO). All beer is sold through either the LCBO retail outlets or The Beer Store. If you want to have a party in a public area, (a community centre for example), you have to apply for a license. In the past this license would allow you to purchase liquor and beer in large quantities and then return whatever was not opened in a re-saleable condition.

But the rules have changed! Recently I helped with a wedding and when we tried to return the beer to The Beer Store, they refused to take nearly all of the beer that we had left over. The rules as I now understand them go something like this:

You can only return 20% of the beer that you purchase

24 pack cases cannot be returned

Only beer packaged in 12 packs with perforated tops and in sets of 2 can be returned

Apparently, The Beer Store’s problem is that people would open the 24 packs, drink the beer, fill the bottles with water, put the caps back on, reseal the case, and return the package for refund. OK, I understand this is a problem; the Beer Store should solve it. Instead of solving it, they have given the problem to me.

We now have 5 24 packs and 1 – 12 pack of unopened beer. I have several options:

A – Drink all the remaining beer myself. Since I start to get a buzz after 3 beers, I’ll be in a steady haze for the next 44 days. Maybe that’ll improve this blog.

B – Hold a big party to get folks to help drink it. But this would be unlicensed and therefore illegal.

C – Sell it to family or friends for a discount. This is illegal, only The Beer Store may sell beer.

D – Go to the High School parking lot on Friday and sell it for a profit. Also illegal.

Part of the mission of the LCBO and the Beer Store is to promote responsible drinking; I don’t think forcing people to take more beer than they need is a way to go about it. Why don’t they simply redesign the 24 pack case with a tamper proof seal and allow people to return unused beer?

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