B.C. Beer Blog

The who, what, where, when, why, and how of B.C. craft beer

Posts Tagged ‘zoning

Vancouver Approves On-Site Brewery Lounges

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by Wanderingpaddy

Last night the City of Vancouver took a huge step forward in modernizing their liquor policies by unanimously approving zoning changes to allow breweries, distilleries and wineries to have small, licensed lounges on-site where they can sell their products to be consumed.

The by-law changes removes the roadblocks (read here) in Vancouver that were preventing breweries from taking advantage of a recent provincial liquor policy changes allowing breweries and distilleries to apply for endorsements to their manufacturing licenses to run on-site, licensed lounges giving them equal footing with wineries who have had this opportunity for years.

As of today, breweries can apply to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch for their lounge and special event endorsements (see link above)| with the knowledge that they have clear sailing as far as Vancouver City Council is concerned.

That is the good news which has the local craft beer industry and craft beers consumers hoisting a jar of their favourite local brew in celebration.

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No Fun City Bureaucracy Stands in the Way of Beer Lounges

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by WanderingPaddy

It appears the City of Vancouver is, once again, living up to its reputation of being No Fun City. Despite the provincial government’s announcement on February 8 that BC breweries and distilleries will now be allowed to apply to have on-site lounges, special events areas (SEA), picnic areas and tour areas, it appears Vancouver’s restrictive zoning regulations and liquor laws will make it very difficult for breweries to take advantage of the changes.

This change to the law, which the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) states in LCLB Policy Directive No 13-02, is “designed to support the growing craft brewing and distilling industries by introducing another means for licensees to showcase their products,” allows breweries and distilleries “to apply for endorsement areas at their manufacturing site where patrons may consume liquor manufactured under the licence.” Currently, breweries can apply to have tasting rooms where they can either offer the general public free samples and/or sell up to 375ml (12oz) per person, per day to be consumed in the tasting room.

The new regulations would allow breweries be able to sell their own beer on-site in amounts more than 375ml per person, per day. I had this clarified by a LCLB spokesperson who, via e-mail, wrote, “the process for breweries and distilleries to apply for on-site lounges and special event areas will be the same as it is for wineries, in that it will be treated as an endorsement on the manufacturer licence, rather than a separate liquor primary licence.” This is the part the City of Vancouver’s Liquor License Department (CVLLD) does not seem to understand.

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So You Want to Open a Brew Pub

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Given the recent surge in the popularity of craft beer in BC, we’re beginning to see some new brewpubs and cottage breweries opening up. Therefore, it is timely that our newest B.C. Beer Blog contributor, Muskie McKay, will take a look at what’s needed to open a brew pub in the province. Please give Muskie a warm welcome. And if you are interested in starting a new venture, he may just be the person to hire to help you get a start on the right foot.

This will be the first in a series of postings dealing with the challenges and issues facing anyone who wants to open a brew pub in BC. This series will deal with legal requirements, costs, equipment, training, as well as more general problems facing all would be entrepreneurs. I’ve lived all over BC, Canada, and abroad, so I’ve had the opportunity to sample a lot of different beers. Nevertheless, I want this series to be very practical and very local, so all the laws discussed will be those facing British Columbians. All the costs and estimates will be in Canadian dollars. I’ve helped people open a number of restaurants and cafes, but I’ve never worked on the business plan for a brew pub.  I do have an MBA specializing in entrepreneurship, if that makes anything I have to say more relevant. Read the rest of this entry »