TORONTO – Ontarians drank billions of dollars of booze last year, with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario reporting record sales of $5.57 billion.
The LCBO says it marks the 21st straight year of record sales and that a $1.9-billion dividend was transferred to the Ontario government.
Sales of Ontario craft spirits soared 64 per cent to $3.7 million, sales of locally produced craft cider saw an increase of 54 per cent to $5.1 million and sales of Ontario craft beer rose 35 per cent to $69 million.
In total, the agency saw net sales of $2.1 billion in spirits, nearly $2 billion in wine, $1.18 billion in beer and cider, and $88.5 million in gift cards.
December 2015 marked the start of sales of beer in grocery stores, and from then until the end of the fiscal year, the LCBO says sales to grocery stores were $7.9 million.
Wine and cider are set to be available in grocery stores later this year.