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LCBO strike brings surge of liquor sales for Brockville, Ont. brewery

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For the third day in a row, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) had all locations in Brockville, Ont. and the rest of the province closed after its employees went on strike this weekend.

All 669 retail stores across Ontario closed on Friday due to stalled contract negotiations between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the provincial government.

Shoppers in Ottawa have the option of going across the bridge to Quebec to buy spirits at the SAQ, Quebec's provincially-run liquor board, but in Brockville, that isn’t a realistic option.

For many local breweries and distilleries in the city, it's been a busy weekend.

"It is definitely a boost. We will take the clientele wherever we can." said Cassidy King, a server with 1000 Islands Brewing Co.

The brewery, located on King St. West, brews and sells its own beer. With sprits nearly impossible to purchase without an LCBO open, the brewery's house-made vodka has been flying off the shelves this weekend.

King says customers have been surprised when they find out the restaurant sells their own liquor in addition to beer.

"It's nice to see people coming in here," she said. "Generally people didn't really know that we sold our own stuff until they came in and realized."

The brewery says it is still receiving products from the LCBO, but like other restaurants, it stocked up before the strike began on Friday.

LCBO retail locations are expected to stay closed for at least 14 days, though convenience outlets in smaller communities will remain open and online ordering is available with product limits in place.

With files from The Canadian Press

 

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