22 Jan Your retail store questions answered
One of the very best things about running an independent craft brewery is talking to customers on a daily basis. Every single interaction is valuable, whether it be with a seasoned GLB consumer or someone just experiencing our wide variety of beers for the first time. It allows us to hear your thoughts, take note of your well thought-out comments and answer your questions.
The folks stocking our fridges and pouring you glasses of #FreshGLB down in our retail store receive hundreds of inquiries a week, so we sat down with them and had them answer the most common questions you ask. From growler queries to direct mail delivery to food options in the taproom, our hardworking staff have covered a wide array of topics for you below.
Have a question that wasn’t answered here, please fire off an email to for follow up.
Frequently Asked Retail Store / Taproom Questions Answered
Are your canned lagers (Blonde Lager & Red Leaf Lager) available in the LCBO?
GLB: Unfortunately, no. While our Blonde Lager and Red Leaf Lager have become year round staples of our Etobicoke retail store they are not available in the LCBO. Craft beer is on the rise, and shelf space at the LCBO is saturated with more options than ever for the consumer. What this means for Great Lakes is that we have to be very targeted with the selections we do decide to sell through the LCBO. In the current LCBO landscape we feel confident in Canuck Pale Ale, Pompous Ass English Ale, and our rotating IPAs and seasonal releases represent the brewery on such a large scale.
Do you serve food at the brewery?
GLB: For the time being the Great Lakes retail store and taproom operates without a kitchen. That being said, we maintain a constant stock of Neal Brothers treats to satisfy your munchies! If you feel inclined to order/bring your own food into the brewery you may feel free to do so (Some suggestions: The Pie Commission, Dino’s Wood Burning Pizza, San Remo Bakery, 850 Degrees Pizza, MELTwich). That being said, we aim to provide further culinary experiences throughout the summer months inviting food trucks/vendors to participate in “Street Food Fridays” and “Sunnyside Sunday Brunches”. We are also currently under renovations and once our brand new event space is up-and-running, we will be able to offer many more catered food options.
Do you host tours of your production facility?
GLB: We currently do not offer tours of our production facility. The brewhouse is always bustling with activity and due to our production demands it is an environment unfit to have tours coming through during business hours (Though, you can sneak a peek at the brewhouse). We do offer a “tour of the taps” which includes 5 x 5oz samples of our beer for $10. During your tasting flight, if you find yourself with any questions regarding the brewing process, feel free to bring those inquiries to our knowledgeable retail store staff who will try their best to have them answered for you.
Do you sell kegs to the public? What are your keg prices?
GLB: We readily have our core four brands available in keg format, and generally these are available in 3 different sizes and two different price brackets. Each keg purchase also comes with at $50.00 deposit attached to it.
Blonde Lager – Red Leaf Amber Lager
20 Litres – $74.00 / 30 Litres – $110.00 / 58.6 Litres – $185.00
Canuck Pale Ale – Pompous Ass English Ale
20 Litres – $90.00 / 30 Litres – $127.00 / 58.6 Litres – $237.00
Consumers are urged to either call (416.255.4510), email () or visit the brewery retail store a couple days in advance so that we can take your order, and make sure we have your keg(s) set aside and chilled for you upon your pickup.
Can I purchase one of your specialty/seasonal beers in a keg?
GLB: While we would love to be able to offer up our entire keg inventory to the retail consumer, the reality is that many of our brands tend to be reserved for bar and restaurant accounts. Because of this, specialty/seasonal kegs are available on a case by case basis. If you’re after a specialty keg please feel free to call/visit our retail store and inquire about it, however we cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to sell one to you.
Why do I have to pay $5 for a pour of a canned beer that may be cheaper straight from the fridge? Why can’t I buy the can and enjoy it on the patio or bar?
GLB: Due to government regulations for our “license to pour”, $5.00 for a 12oz pour is what we offer at our retail store. Furthermore, while our patio is completely licensed, it is only licensed for 12oz pours, opposed to our tall cans that contain 16oz of GLB.
Why don’t you fill growlers from other breweries? Why don’t you fill the growler off of the tap with any brand I want?
GLB: Based on a number of reasons when we launched our growler program, we do not fill non Great Lakes Brewery growlers. We wash each and every growler, inspect it for wear and tear, sanitize them to ensure there is no bacteria inside that may infect the liquid and inspect the lids. We do this to not only ensure that the beer will taste fresh and the best it can be, but also for safety purposes. These steps allow us to stand behind our product and our packaging in the event something negative should transpire. We also pre-fill our growlers ahead of time to allow our staff to carryout a thorough process which will ultimately benefit you, the consumer. Here is an blog post with more information.
Why was there a price increase for the Canuck Pale Ale?
GLB: Canuck Pale Ale has been our flagship beer since we first canned it back in 2011, and while we’ve employed all of the cost cutting measures possible to maintain it’s affordability for the consumer last year the rising cost of ingredients forced a minimal 15 cent increase per can last year. Canuck Pale Ale remains the best value craft pale ale on the shelf at the LCBO and we’ll do our best as a company to keep it that way. Here is a blog post with more information.
Why isn’t there a case price at the LCBO?
GLB: Unfortunately every item sold to the LCBO is a single can price, meaning that they can only sell individual cans.
What beers do you have coming out next?
GLB: Given our hectic brewing schedule at GLB, the brew house is always bustling with activity. When it comes to the brewing/aging process of our beers we want to make sure our products meet our satisfaction before making them available to the public which means we rarely publish release dates for our beers. As always, the website is updated daily with what #FreshGLB beers are in the fridge and on tap in the retail store. For what’s on deck, follow us on Untappd. For teaser content check out the main social media account (@greatlakesbeer) on Twitter and Instagram, as well as @GLBRetail.
Do you ship beer?
GLB: We currently ship beer to hundreds of bars and restaurants all around Ontario, as far Thunder Bay. We do not currently ship beer directly to consumers; however, it may be something we’d consider for the future…
I can never make it to “Street Food Fridays” because of work. Why is it only until 5:00pm?
GLB: Street Food Fridays (May to October) have been a hit since getting the ball rolling two summers ago. Unfortunately many of the culinary outfits that we book for these events have their own dinner services to get back to, which restricts them to an afternoon availability. We are currently exploring options to increase these hours in 2018.
Why are your bottle beers not available in cans?
GLB: The decision to either bottle or can specific beers in production hinges on many factors: aging, LCBO demands, style of beer. We actively make a conscious effort to place the right beer in the right vessel for ideal consumption by you – the #FreshGLB consumer.