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 said 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 percent to $3.7 million, sales of locally-produced craft cider saw an increase of 54 percent to $5.1 million, and sales of Ontario craft beer rose 35 percent 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 marked the start of sales of beer in grocery stores.
From then until the end of the fiscal year, the LCBO said sales to grocery stores were $7.9 million.
Wine and cider are set to be available in grocery stores later this year.