This thread was inspired by some discussion about regional differences in alcohol rules, and it got me curious about some of the more absurd/outdated liquor laws that may be out there.
I think my jurisdiction (Ontario, Canada) has got to be one of the worst.
To start with, only the provincial government is allowed to sell bottled spirits. The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) has a monopoly on selling all distilled spirits.
We also have a chain called the Beer Store that sells beer. However, it's owned jointly by AB Inbev and Molson Coors, so they only carry their own brands. Ironically, if you want craft beer, The Beer Store is the last place you should look.
The LCBO has better beer selection than the Beer Store. However, the LCBO doesn't sell anything bigger than 6-packs. If you want a case, you have to go to the Beer Store.
If you want to buy beer or spirits anywhere else ... you're out of luck. Some grocery stores are allowed to sell wine, but that's it. The idea of running to the corner store to pick up a 6-pack of Coors is alien to Ontarians. It's not allowed. If you want beer, your only options are the LCBO or the Beer Store. If you want rum, vodka, or any other spirits, your only
option is the LCBO.
That said, they are open on Sundays, and the drinking age here is 19.
Across the border, in Quebec, the drinking age is 18, and they do sell beer in corner stores. Heck, they even sell beer in Costco.
Finally, the taxes here in Ontario are brutal. A case of 24 "domestic" beer will run you between $35-$45, plus bottle deposit ($0.10/bottle). Also, our bars are not allowed to have "Happy Hours" where drinks are discounted (because that encourages binge drinking, donchaknow). Around here, "Happy Hour" means 10-cent wings. We even have minimum pricing for alcohol
. The Beer Store is legally prohibited from selling a case of 24 bottles of beer for less than $29.35. And restaurants/bars are not allowed to sell beer for less than they paid for it (no loss-leading allowed on alcohol). Meaning, "buck-a-beer" is technically illegal in Ontario.
Thank goodness I make my own!