B.C. eases liquor rules to support breweries, distilleries and wineries

B.C. eases liquor rules to support breweries, distilleries and wineries
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The B.C. government is relaxing some of its rules related to liquor sales at breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries as the summer tourism season approaches.

The changes largely revolve around how much alcohol can be sold to a customer, and where and when samples can be offered on guided tours.

For example, wineries can now offer more servings of their products, like a flight of samples, up to a maximum of 10 ounces per customer.

Meanwhile, breweries and cideries can offer flights up to 24 ounces, while distilleries can serve a maximum of three ounces of a spirit, not including any mixers like tonic water.

Tour changes

On Friday, the province also announced that alcohol manufacturers are allowed to offer another seating area where visitors can try samples during tours, so long as it is supervised.

For example, a table can be set up in a vineyard where visitors can try some wine while a tour guide gives a short presentation on their product before continuing with the tour. Previously, alcohol samples were restricted to specific consumption areas.

The province notes that these new stops during tours should not be considered alternate consumption areas for alcohol.

Additionally, packaged liquor can now be sold during tours, and not just in designated areas.

The changes announced on Friday are intended to give alcohol manufacturers more chances to offer samples and sales at their facilities.

SEE ALSO: Island wineries dodge catastrophic crop failure plaguing most of the province

“Recent years have been difficult for wineries and tourism across the province, and we are taking action to support these valuable businesses,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General in a release Friday.

“The changes we are making will create better experiences for visitors of wineries and liquor manufacturers across the province, helping them – and all of B.C. – to be a more competitive and desirable destination for visitors. ”

The changes to the liquor rules are in response to industry feedback, according to the B.C. government.

A brief overview of the changes, according to the province, include:

  • Allowing people to sit and enjoy samples while on a guided tour
  • Allowing packaged liquor sales in more places on site, including tours
  • Allowing more flexibility around sampling so liquor manufacturers can customize sampling experiences for visitors
  • Allowing manufacturers to sell and promote their products in picnic areas and host visitors more effectively.
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