It's one of the world's strangest alcohol sales arrangements. Since the end of prohibition, beer in Ontario has primarily—sometimes nearly exclusively—sold at a single chain of stores, that sell only beer. Nothing else. And while The Beer Store began as a collection of Canadian brewers, it is now almost totally owned by two mega-companies who hold a huge competitive advantage.
A report last week indicated that the agreement that governs the situation will be allowed to expire, and the announcement will come before the end of the year. How did Ontario end up with The Beer Store in the first place? How has it held so much power for so long? And what will happen when it loses its hold on the industry?
GUEST: Josh Rubin, business reporter, The Toronto Star