Comox Valley Record

Comox Valley businesses could benefit from provincial liquor changes

Several revisions to liquor laws are intended to create new business opportunities, and to support breweries and distilleries in B.C., as announced by Energy Minister Rich Coleman.

He is also in charge of liquor control, licensing and distribution.

Under the changes, brewers and distillers can now apply to have an on-site consumption area. As well, small- and medium-sized liquor manufacturers will be allowed up to three common ownership and business relationships with licensed establishments off their manufacturing site.

In addition, 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.

While the changes won't have a big impact on his operation, the owner of Coastal Black Estate Winery in Black Creek is encouraged to see "antiquated" regulations being modernized.

"Overall, I think it's fantastic," Abel O'Brennan said. "To see some of that getting a bit of a retooling is great."

He is especially pleased that an honourary wine envoy will be named with a mandate to better open domestic markets for B.C. wines.

Other changes are as follows:

• Wine stores will become licensees under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act;

• Criteria on whether private liquor stores can relocate within one kilometre of a liquor store is set out in regulation, not policy;

• Increases to liquor-primary capacity now require local government input;

• Rural agency stores can purchase unlimited amounts of beer through government liquor stores.

The changes could benefit Island Spirits Distillery on Hornby Island and Shelter Point Distillery between Courtenay and Campbell River, says Comox Valley MLA Don McRae.

There are 14 licensed distilleries in B.C.

Under the new rules, qualifying craft distilleries will be eligible to have full markup exemption on sales to licensed establishments and consumers. Distillers in B.C. can now double their maximum annual production from 25,000 to 50,000 litres of finished product and remain in the craft distillery category.

In addition, products need to contain 100 per cent B.C. raw agriculture materials and be distilled by a licensed B.C. distillery.

“British Columbia has a tradition of excellence in agriculture," said McRae, a recent agriculture minister. "We've seen small breweries, wineries and distilleries evolve from a cottage industry to products renowned around the world. New changes to the craft distillery policies will help support their excellent work and support agritourism in the Comox Valley.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Cable ferry protested on Denman Island
 
Kathleen Bell: Business leader seeking council term
 
The race is on!
Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers
 
One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks
 
CANCER AND FAMILIES-PART 1: ‘The diagnosis was terrifying’
Proposed setbacks irk Hicks
 
Canada Day in Alberni
 
Search and rescue veteran in Alberni retires after 47 years

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.