To Blog or not to Blog

image  To blog or not to blog that                     is the question.  Some online marketers seem to think that blogs will run their course and give way to new social media sites.   In fact many of them are giving up their blogs already, taking their content  and, fans and inspirations to Google+ and other social venues.

A blog isn’t just to spread content or even boost your Google search rankings, but to actually engage with readers and followers on interesting or important aspects of online marketing.  You want readers to not just absorb an idea, but also form an impression about you, your company, and your expertise.

imageThe internet is so saturated with content now that if you want information on a subject, you can plug in a search on google and find hundreds of articles answering your question.  So why does anyone come to your blog?  They don’t just want to learn about your product, they want to learn about you.  Now with more accurate data available,  it is much easier to get down to the data in order to figure out the best date and time to post, what your audience wants to read, exactly where that audience is coming from, and what they do next.
As I continue on in this Social Media programme, I am very interested to dive deeper into the analytics of social media.  I really believe there is a large percentage of people in business who need help in this intricate subject because they do not dedicate the time or resources needed to develop a proper social media campaign.

Toronto Distillery VS the LCBO

image  In dealing with the Ontario government regarding alcohol laws, the battle for small brewers and distillers is against a faceless bureaucracy that believes whole heartedly in the way it has always done business.  Consumers and producers have been left with post prohibition legacy laws and policies that are approaching a century in age and finally the government and a handful of companies that control the supply chain have reluctantly begun to release the strangle hold grip on almost every aspect of alcohol.  Everyone else, including large distillers have been left to deal with an organization that polices itself with unquestionable authority.

The Toronto Distillery Co. has launched a landmark legal filling, Jesse Razaqpur and Charles Benoit, owners of the Toronto Distillery Company have sued the LCBO over what they claim is the unfair practice of enforcing distillers to sell their produt for the same price as at the LCBO retial stores and then pay the same mark up amount of tax to the LCBO.  They detailed the  case to Ben Johnson at Ben’s Beer Blog who had the following to say:

The LCBO’s in store mark up while steep at least covers all that the LCBO does for booze makers.  They warehouse the stuff, shelve it, pay for staff to sell it, mrket it, etc.  But when it’s sold directly from the place that makes it, as when the Tornto Distillery Co. sells bottles at their place on Cawthra Ave, the LCBO still collects that mark up.

The message here is that even if you want to sell your own product at your own store, for your own price it goes against what the LCBO policy and if you don’t pay up, the LCBO is coming for you and will shut you down.


Craft Beer and the Ontario Economy

Ontario’s job market is beginning to look like a disaster.  The foundation of Ontario’s job market are turning into quicksand that threatens to swallow the provinces economic future.  Ontario passed a grim historic milestone last month.  According to stats Canada data, the number of manufacturing jobs; once the backbone of the province’s economy hit their lowest level on record. Ontario’s job market is beginning to look like a disaster


The craft beer industry is an important sector of Ontario’s economy.  With over 150 operating breweries and more in planning, the industry is creating jobs and economic benefits in communities across Ontario.  ” Craft brewing is an exciting industry with great potential for growth”, says Cameron Heaps, co-founder of  Steam Whistle Brewing and chair of Ontario Craft Brewers.  ” I know that I speak for all Ontario Craft Brewers when I say that if we are provided with the right retail opportunities to keep growth growing, craft brewers can double even triple the number of jobs we create and the commnities we benefit”.  Ontario craft brewers currently provide over 1,000 direct brewery jobs and thousands of indirect brewery jobs, accounting for over 30% of the direct brewing jobs in the province.
Ontario craft brewers stimulate local growth


Molson, Coors and Sleeman vs Ontario Craft Beer

As Canadians celebrate the 148th birthday of our beautiful country this summer, will craft beer be able to compete against the heavy marketing dollars flexed by foreign owned Molson, Labatt & Sleeman.  In an industry owned and regulated by the almighty dollars contributed by the owners benefactors of one of the most unusual alcohol retailing systems in the world, owned by foreign corporations and protected from competition by the government.


The Beer Store: Everything you need to know

In the 1950’s the Canadian beer laws strictly dictated that all beer sold in a province must be brewed in that province.  Three Canadian breweries made up ninety five percent of the nation’s beer sales, Carling O’Keefe, Labatts and Molson.  Over the years, mergers and aquisitions among brewers left The Beer Store in the hands of three companies Labatt, Molson and Sleeman.  In 1955 Labatt was bought by Belgium’s Interbrew, which later merged into AB
In Bev.  Molson merged with Denver based Coors in 2005.  The following year Sapporo bought Sleeman.

The battle for shelf  space and market share is the fight Ontario craft brewers are currently engaged in, 74% of all LCBO and 80% of Brewers retail sales are dominated by the big three Brewers owners.

As our Ontario Craft Brewers continue to gain market share through community support and a growing sub culture, we can only hope that the playing feild can be leveled and we can enjoy craft beer stores controlled and owned by Ontario companies and avaiable in our communities.

Craft Beer vs The Foreign Owned Private Beer Store

image  Premier Kathleen has promised the sale of six packs in supermarkets beginning as early as Christmas 2015.  Beer will be sold in 450 of the provinces 1500 grocery stores.

  Last December a very sweet deal between the publicly owned L.C.B.O. and the private and foreign owned Beer Store chain, which revealed lobbing and political donations by foreign owned Labatt, Molson and Sleemans.  The most sweeping reform of beer sales in Ontario follows an investigation by the Toronto Star’s Martin Regg Cohn which revealed the cozy deal, and comes almost thirty years after former premier David Peterson first promised reform. 5 things you should know about the beer store changes

  Under the changes the 448 outlet Beer Store chain will have to devote at least 20 percent of it’s shelf space as well as merchandising and marketing programs to craft beer.

The first super markets will have beer on the shelves before Christmas 2015, with brews avaiable in as many as 150 large grocery stores by May 1st.  “This is a game changer — we expect (this) will mean a doubling craft market share and the addition of 1,000 to 2,000 new brewery jobs in communities of all sizes and from all parts of the province,” said Cam Heaps, co-founder of Toronto’s Steam Whistle Brewing and chair of Ontario Craft Brewers.

Get excited about Ontario Craft Beer Week!

As the Ontario craft beer scene continues to explode throughout locations province wide, a very interesting subculture is providing a sustainable market for these independent brewers.  As more breweries continue to pop up in communities, it gives residents and tourists a chance to enjoy a representation of their terroir in a glass.

Since 1985, small brewers in Ontario have created thousands of jobs and have invested tens of millions of dollars into the Ontario economy.  Since launching in 2005, Ontario Craft Brewers have continued to experience growth in sales, consumer awareness, new brewery openings, capital expansion and general industry.


Ontario Craft Beer Week is being celebrated from June 12 – June 21st, 2015, a ten day province wide festival that celebrates the thriving locally based craft beer industry in Ontario – O.C.B. Week.  Summer brings with it many outdoor beer festivals province wide, in fact with the right reference guide you are able to celebrate and enjoy a new setting almost every weekend Canada wide. Beer Festival Calendar

I’m personally excited about my communities own Collingwood Craft Beer Festival, June 12 -14th.  As well the Summer Craft Beer Fest, Liberty Village, July 9th & The Barrie Craft Beer & BBQ Festival, July 10 – July 12th.  As I’ve circled these three events on my own calander, there will be many more small communities coming together with their local brewers to showcase and celebrate throughout the summer and fall.

As you search for entertainment over the dates of O.C.B. week take the time to reference events going on near you or plan a road trip to one of Ontario’s beautiful small communities to take in a tasting and some local cuisine.