B.C. Liquor Law Changes Welcomed by Craft Breweries

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VANCOUVER, BC – A raft of changes to British Columbia’s liquor laws were announced on Friday, and they have received praise from many in the province’s craft brewing industry.

Two changes in particular are being especially welcomed by small brewers in the province:

  • Breweries can now have an on-site lounge, tasting room or event area where beer and food can be served.
  • Brewery owners will be allowed to own or co-own up to three off-site licensed establishments where their brewery products are available.

The official announcement of the changes can be found on the Government of British Columbia website, and more details can be found in the extensive media coverage, which has included the following:

CBC.ca: BC liquor laws relax for craft brewers and distillers, winemakers
Vancouver Sun: New liquor laws will make things easier for local brewers, distillers
The Tyee: BC Liquor announces changes to allow direct sales, in-brewery events

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  1. Although the Provincial Government has made these announcements which help pave the way for the craft breweries to further increase their share of the marketplace, local municipal governments may not be on the same page especially regarding the on-site lounges & event areas, Vancouver, for example, has such restrictive zoning and licensing by-laws that it will be virtually impossible for these lounges to be approved. It remains to be seen how all local governments will deal with these changes and whether or not they will allow on-site consumption lounges where breweries can actually sell their product instead of being forced to gie it away as they currently are.

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