Our Mission

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.

Composite Scores for Products

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.

Store Ratings

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.

Analytics

Interactive online graphs are the new hotness. Given that one of us is a data scientist, we thought it would be neat to offer some data-driven insights into the LCBO product catalogue by way of the D3.js and crossfilter JavaScript plugins. Check out our new store analytics on the Analytics page.

The Roadmap

We have a few additional things planned for the future of MyLiqbo.com. Here's a (short) selection of those plans:

  • The composite scores are only the first feature that we plan on having on a per-product basis. In the not-too-distant future, we should be adding some additional elements to the product pages, which we hope will give interesting insights into the characteristics of as many products as possible.
  • We are developing a store rating algorithm, which we expect will go live soon.
  • We are also continuing to integrate new sources of ratings data. There are a couple more coming soon.

Why MyLiqbo?

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.

About Us

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!

Credits & Thanks

This website would not be possible without the efforts of a number of people:

  • First and foremost, we would like to thank Carsten Nielsen, who has lovingly fostered and developed the LCBO API since 2009.
  • We've made every effort to be respectful of their data and web servers, and we'd like to thank the services that provide our product ratings data; specifically, RateBeer.com, Proof66.com, Untappd, Vivino, and WineAlign.
  • The website's look and feel was developed using Bootstrap 3.
  • The icons used on MyLiqbo are from the FontAwesome project.
  • Of course, MyLiqbo wouldn’t be possible were it not for free and open-sourced software like: Python, Flask, jQuery, Nginx, and their countless contributors.