Province changes its liquor licensing rules.

New rules include treating B.C. distilleries more like their provincial wine-making brethren.

The province has announced several changes that will help support local breweries and distilleries, create new business opportunities, and revise current liquor laws in B.C.

Changes announced Friday include:

• 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.

(More to follow)


Kelowna Capital News