Forked River Brewing Pushing for Changes to Brewery Retail Store Ruling

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LONDON, ON – While yesterday’s announcement of changes to Ontario’s beer retailing system was welcomed by many of the province’s craft breweries, at least one was disappointed by the lack of a particular change it was hoping to see.

As detailed in a blog post published soon after the government announcement, London’s Forked River Brewing has been struggling for some time with unclear rules around the allowable location of brewery retail stores.

In order to increase production in their existing facility, Forked River planned to move its retail outlet to another unit in the same industrial plaza, something that appeared to be allowable under AGCO rules which state that “the brewery retail store must be located on the same parcel of land as the production site of the manufacturer.”

However, once construction on the new store was underway, the AGCO denied the application due to the fact that the brewery and shop were not in adjacent units, saying that this constituted an off-site retail store which is not currently allowed.

Forked River was hoping that the changes announced yesterday by the government would include allowing breweries to open an off-site retail location, as was recently requested by the Ontario Craft Brewers. Since it didn’t, the brewery has launched a petition and is reaching out to the public to help them appeal to the AGCO in hopes that they will be allowed to open the store.

For more details, see the full Forked River blog post, as well as coverage of the issue at AM980.

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