Saskatchewan Government to Launch Review of Craft Alcohol Policies

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REGINA, SK – The Government of Saskatchewan has revealed plans to initiate a comprehensive review of the province’s craft alcohol policies and legislation.

As reported in the Regina Leader-Post, the Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), Don McMorris, announced yesterday that a third party will be engaged for the process, with an aim to “review the whole system, and make those changes that we think are appropriate.”

The full press release goes into further detail, indicating that the review will “consider a number of issues including the mark-up structure applied to craft alcohol, production thresholds, direct shipping of craft alcohol to retailers, the ability for growler fills to be done by retailers such as taverns and restaurants and the overall impact of the industry on Saskatchewan’s economy.”

While the number of craft alcohol producers in Saskatchewan is relatively small – “five microbreweries, six cottage wineries and four microdistilleries [and] approximately 35 brew pubs,” according to the release – those producers and their customers appear to be eager for an overhaul to the province’s liquor legislation, based on the more than 5,500 responses the government has received to the Liquor Retailing in Saskatchewan online survey it launched last fall.

A Request for Proposals for the review will be issued in February, with the review itself expected to start in March or April, and a final report to follow in the fall of 2015.

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