On the hunt for booze

Thursday, November 9, 2006

I love The (Ontario) Beer Hunter. This little mashup of Google maps with data from LCBO, The Beer Store and other hooch-selling outlets finds me via my IP address, then shows me on the map what places are still open. It’s only 3:10pm, so I’m not really worried about everything being closed, but this is the quickest way to find the closest place to pop out and buy a bottle of wine on foot. Somehow, the wine supply has dwindled down to an unopened case of some really special wines that I’m not going to crack open this year, leaving us wine-less for dinner. I usually do my shopping at the LCBO, by the case and with the car, but feel like heading out for a stroll after all my conference calls finish today to pick up a nice red to go with the lamb shanks that are simmering in the crock pot.

For those of you who don’t live in countries with draconian liquor laws, note that in the province of Ontario in Canada, you can only buy liquor and most wine at the government-owned LCBO stores, and can only buy wine and beer either from the LCBO or from outlets owned by the producers (note that The Beer Store is actually owned by the breweries). Hence the value of The Beer Hunter in tracking down what highly-regulated retails locations are in your neighbourhood, and what their hours are.

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