Canadian Manufacturing

Beer overseer: Ontario gets its first suds ombudsman

Former banker to become inaugural Beer Store ombudsman, will be responsible for mediating disputes between retailer, customers and brewers


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Originally owned by a consortium of Ontario brewers, ownership in the beer retailer has since passed to several foreign brewers

TORONTO—A former ombudsman at one of Canada’s big banks has been tapped to investigate complaints of a far more frothy nature: beer.

The Beer Store has appointed Charles Dougall as Ontario’s first beer ombudsman.

The foreign-owned consortium, which operates more than 470 retail outlets throughout the province, says Dougall will be responsible for mediating operational disputes between the Beer Store, its customers and brewers.

He has been appointed to a three-year term, beginning Jan. 2, and will report annually to the Beer Store’s independent directors.

Dougall was previously ombudsman at Scotiabank for nine years.

The beer ombudsman position was created at the request of the Ontario government last year, when it announced beer sales will be permitted in some grocery stores.

The Beer Store was originally owned by a consortium of Ontario-based brewers when it was set up in 1927 as Brewers’ Retail, but is now owned by Molson-Coors of the United States, AB InBev of Belgium and Sapporo of Japan.


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