Um, hey can you people help me out here. I heard from some dude that if you went to the beer store in the 1970s you’d only see like 5 brands of beer and so the only stuff you could buy was like Bud Light or something.
Is there any truth to that? I can’t imagine the past being better than the present if that’s what the beer situation was like.
If you went to a beer store in the 1970’s, you would not find Bud Light, as it was introduced in 1982.
I would argue that there were more small, regional breweries in the 70’s, since most have been swallowed by the big 3. So, excluding craft beers, I’d argue there were more options in the 70s than there are now.
Also pre-prohibition, bars and taverns would often contract with a single brewery, so you’d literally have one option for beer.
I dunno, but that’s about the state of the situation in Ontario today.
The three main beer stores own the retail stores that sell beer in Ontario. They specifically design the stores to prevent any sort of shopping or comparison. The stores are a vault - no shelves, no nothing. A rack of empty cans way high up on the wall and a row of registers at the back. YOu walk in, go to the registers, and order exactly the same thing as you ordered last time. it’s specifically designed to only sell the big brands, and prevent sales of anything else.
Why the gov’t lets only the monolithic retailers control the retail market is beyond me.
I do remember miller in the 80’s. THey came out with the first non-stubby bottle, and it had a bottle opener built into the bottom of each bottle. You would finish your beer, then twist the cap off the next bottle with the empty beer bottle. And that’s been the pinnacle of innovation in Canadian beer ever since.
It was never only 5 by me, but the selection depended greatly on where you were shopping. If you went to your neighborhood grocery story, you’d pretty much just get your standard big names, plus regional big names. There may have been more regionals, but you could only get those from your region and then only the biggest names. You’d have to go to a well-stocked liquor store to get anything beyond the big names (national or regional).
The regionals really were regional, too. You literally couldn’t get Coors east of the Mississippi, for example, so when planes would land at OHare from Denver, you’d usually see quite a few cases of Coors at baggage claim.
And, it wasn’t good back then, either.
I do recall going to Spring Break in FL, and drinking Oly’s from Washington (couldn’t get them at home).
Come to think of it, they weren’t all that good, either, but we believed they were.
YEah, LCBO is mildly better. But I’ve been in walmart sized beer stores in the US where it’s aisle after aisle, row after row of every kind of beer or wine you can imagine. Never seen anything like that in Canada. Because they don’t care. Or more correctly, they care very much that we don’t have access to choice.
You should check out the large cities in Alberta. There are beer stores that easily rival those found south of the border. Where I live in Ontario, local grocery stores and walmart don’t carry much variety. Allowing them to sell beer turns out not to be much of an improvement over the long run and from what I understand many of them are giving up on it now because other products = more profitable use of shelf space. Having said that lots of local beer can be ordered online and delivered. There are actually a handful of indy beer stores that come sort of close to what you are looking for in Ontario but it isn’t obvious where to find them and not as big and those in Alberta/south of the border.