A drink at the barber’s
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jan 23, 2017 - BC Biz

Photo: Wayne Moore

Photo: Wayne Moore

B.C.’s newest liquor regulations come into force today, allowing businesses like barbershops, salons, book stores and art galleries to apply for a liquor licence.

The government says the changes will update the laws and reduce red tape.

The new act will allow:

  • all types of businesses to apply for a liquor licence, giving them opportunities to generate new revenue
  • businesses to apply for a Special Event Permit to reduce red tape involved in organizing events and festivals
  • hotels and resorts that own a bar on the premises to offer guests a complimentary alcoholic beverage upon check-in and permit guests to carry their drinks from licenced areas directly to their rooms
  • restaurants and bars to create unique cocktails through liquor infusions and barrel-aging, keeping up with a strong ‘cocktail culture’ that has emerged in Europe, the United States and across Canada
  • applicants to receive more timely decisions on their licence applications
  • theatres to permit customers to consume liquor purchased on-site in both the lobby and licensed seating areas when minors are present, similar to arenas and stadiums
  • restaurants to apply to operate as a bar or nightclub after a certain hour and vice versa
  • golf course patrons to take a drink from one service area to another

“We’ve come a long way since we first began the process of updating B.C.’s antiquated liquor laws,” said Small Business Minister Coralee Oakes.

Changes that could help wine and craft beer manufacturers in the Valley include:

  • creating a new graduated mark-up scale and new provisions to increase cash flow for craft brewers
  • creating a new interprovincial trade agreement so vintners can list their wine with distributors in Quebec and Ontario
  • allowing manufacturers to sell liquor at artisan and farmers’ markets

“The Liquor Policy Review and its recommendations have positively impacted the rapid expansion of the B.C. craft brewing community over the last three years,” said Ken Beattie, executive director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild. “The changes removed barriers to growth that previously existed for our members and have encouraged and supported our provincial brewing culture.”

“The reforms put in place, such as the prudent roll-out of 100 per cent B.C. wine sales in grocery stores and farmers markets, are providing convenience and choice to consumers,” said Miles Proden, president and CEO of the BC Wine Institute. “These measures also give B.C. farmers and wine producers increased opportunity for greater exposure to a broader consumer base.”

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