This website was created in order to introduce some useful features that we felt were missing from the LCBO's official website. (Note: We're not affiliated with the LCBO.)
One missing feature of LCBO.com, in particular, is the ability to virtually browse our local LCBO. The LCBO allows you to look up products individually by store. This is useful if you have a product in mind, but isn't particularly useful if you don't know exactly what you're looking for.
On top of this, LCBO.com has little in the way of product reviews, so it is often difficult to know what's worth trying. To solve this, we've tried to bring together product reviews from various drinking review websites and social networks so as to make finding new and worthwhile products at your local LCBO much more convenient.
We have endeavoured to find ratings, wherever possible, for every product that the LCBO carries. Thus far, we have obtained average product ratings from RateBeer.com, Proof66.com, Untappd, Vivino, and WineAlign.
Some LCBO products will only have ratings from one of our ratings providers; however, for the majority of products with ratings, we've pulled in averages from more than one source. These separate sources tend to have, not only different average product scores, but also different means for generating those scores. In light of this, we have developed an algorithm that normalizes the average scores across all sources and returns a weighted average, which should serve as a pretty good indicator of a product's "true" rating.
We've also added store ratings by developing an algorithm that grades all stores on a scale from "A+" to "F". We thought store ratings would be useful for finding or filtering information, as well as, perhaps, occasionally choosing to travel a little farther in order to find higher quality in-store products.
The grades for each store are calculated using a variety of available store characteristics and metadata, including (but not limited to): the number of distinct products in a store; a store's total inventory count; the number and variety of Ontario Craft Brewer's beers, Vintage section wines, or rare/premium products; whether a store has a cold beer room, and; whether a store has accessibility features.
We are planning to continue to build upon and enhance this feature in future versions of the website.
We have a few additional things planned for the future of MyLiqbo.com. Here's a (short) selection of those plans:
We've had a few people ask us why we chose the name we did. In short, if you pronounce the LCBO acronym, you get the common slang term 'liqbo' (pronounced /LICK-BO/). We use the term all the time in discussions.
We hope you are enjoying MyLiqbo.com. We've poured many, many hours into making it a reality.
This project was developed by a small husband and wife duo. It started out as a way for us to try out some new technologies as well as to work on something that complemented our talents — she's a data scientist, he's a web developer.
If you're interested in helping us out, please consider making a donation. We'd really appreciate it! It would go a long way toward helping us cover the costs of running the site and putting food — not to mention drink! — in our bellies!
This website would not be possible without the efforts of a number of people: