An antiquated BC liquor policy has been a major headache for local breweries, pubs and restaurants alike putting a kibosh on the ability for an brewery to serve their own beer at an offsite location under the same ownership. For breweries like Red Truck of the Mark James Group, Parrallel 49 Brewery of St Augustine’s and the soon to open Brassneck Brewery of The Alibi Room this means that they can finally offer their own beer to consumers.
Additionally, another change to this archaic law means that you can finally order a pint or two at your favourite brewery tasting room. Where a 12oz maximum was previously limiting the ability to serve beer at the brewery the new law catagorizes breweries much like a winery where you can be served beer by the pint at the source.
Here is the press release for full details.
B.C. liquor laws get overhauled
VANCOUVER – Minister Rich Coleman announced several changes today that will help support local breweries and distilleries, create new business opportunities, and revise current liquor laws in British Columbia.
Changes announced today include the following:
Brewers and distillers now can apply to have an on-site consumption area such as a lounge, tasting room or event area.
Small- and medium-sized liquor manufacturers will be allowed up to three common ownership and business relationships with licensed establishments located off their manufacturing site.
Rules around how liquor manufacturers can promote their products in bars and restaurants have been simplified by removing the requirement for a buy-sell agreement.
Distilled liquor products that consist of 100 per cent British Columbia agricultural raw materials and are distilled in B.C. by licensed distilleries are now eligible for mark-up exempt direct sales.
A honourary B.C. wine envoy will be named with a mandate to work to complement existing efforts to open up domestic markets for B.C. wines.
Wine stores will become licensees under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act.
The criteria on whether private liquor stores can relocate within one kilometre of an existing liquor store are now set out in regulation rather than policy.
All increases to liquor-primary capacity will now require local government input.
Allowing rural agency stores to purchase unlimited amounts of beer through their local government liquor store.
Minister Rich Coleman –
“These changes reflect the evolving nature of the liquor industry in British Columbia. As time passes, so does the need to re-evaluate our laws and find ways to ensure we’re doing all we can to create an environment where liquor-related businesses can continue to succeed.”
Mark James, Mark James Group, Owner, Red Truck Brewery –
“We welcome these changes that the provincial government has announced today. We have long-wanted the freedom to include our portfolio of B.C.-brewed, award-winning beer and premium spirits with those products of different suppliers in our liquor primary and food primary licensed establishments. We commend the government on this initiative and believe that, in concert with allowing breweries and distilleries to have onsite lounges or tasting rooms, the timing is perfect.”
Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick –
“These changes will encourage B.C. craft distilleries to use local grains and produce, will support B.C. farmers producing high-quality crops, and are the latest example of the B.C. government’s efforts to create a business environment that attracts investment and rewards innovation. B.C. is internationally respected for our high-quality wines and beers, and is increasingly being looked at as a place of similar opportunity for craft distillers.”
Anthony Frustagli, co-owner, Parallel 49 and St. Augustine’s –
“We are elated by today’s announcement. This is a huge step forward for B.C. craft brewers, vintners, distillers, restaurateurs and publicans. We applaud the government for updating an outdated and archaic law that was impeding progress not only for us but a number of businesses in the craft beer industry. We look forward to sharing the beers which we so carefully craft at Parallel 49 with our valued customers at St. Augustine’s.”