With the removal of the province’s mask mandate and proof of vaccination program, breweries have seen customers quickly flock back to their businesses for a drink.
Moon Under Water Brewpub and Distillery co-owner Clay Potter says he’s happy to see good times being shared in his shop but there are still aspects of the pandemic that linger.
“I honestly didn’t know the exact we had to stop production until today. So we were given a week’s notice, basically,” said Potter.
During the early days of the pandemic, B.C. implemented a new policy allowing for breweries and distilleries to get licenses to produce hand sanitizer products. That program is now ending.
By the end of May 8, businesses that received that licence will have to stop production. Businesses can continue to use their location to sell or donate products until Nov. 8.
“When the lounge got shut down, the distillery had no income coming in. So we weren’t selling at any liquor stores, and all our whiskey was still aging. So it was a quick way to pay the rent,” said Potter.
The co-owner says that he just finished creating his 33rd batch. Since the start of the pandemic, Potter says his brewery has produced more than 33,000 litres of sanitizer and still has to produce his last batch.
“It felt great to supply something that was actually needed,” said Potter.
But a lack of communication from the province has left businesses like Potter’s, limited time to sell or donate their product.
In a statement to CHEK News, the provincial government says it has heard about concerns with the timeline that businesses have.
“We will be reaching out to B.C. liquor manufacturers in the coming weeks to determine if they anticipate having stock remaining come November 8, and how much, to determine if the authorization to sell or donate any remaining stock of sanitizer needs to be extended. Liquor manufacturing facilities are for the manufacture of liquor therefore the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will be confirming there is a need for an extension of this extraordinary authorization before implementing an extension,” the statement reads.
Potter says that while it’s an inconvenience that he’ll have to deal with the excess sanitizers, he says having customers back is worth it.
“We’ll take the hit of not making sanitizer anymore if that means opening the pub back up,” said Potter.