Liquor Regulation Changes May Lead to more Craft Breweries in Calgary

Posted by Justin Havre on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 12:48pm.

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92414546@N04/14478635557If you love Canadian beer you know Alberta is the place you want to be. Thanks to the liquor store privatization that took place over twenty years ago more and more liquor stores have made their way into the area. Right now there are close to 2,000 liquor stores in the Alberta area alone.

In those stores you will find over 2,300 different brands and varieties of beer being sold at any given moment. The British Columbians on the other hand can go on a weeklong scavenger hunt and still not find even half of what Alberta has to offer. While that make seem like a great thing for Alberta, truthfully it’s not.

You see, British Columbia is literally killing Alberta when it comes to microbreweries. In 2013 Albert was home to less than 13 breweries. Please know this is not because the people of Alberta don't like beer. They actually love it. The reason there are so few brewers in the area is because of the laws that were once in place.

In December 2013 the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, also known as the AGLC, decided to remove three of those laws from the books. Once those three laws were removed from the books the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission received 30 inquiries from businesses looking to get a liquor license. Because of the rule changes more and more Albertans are considering starting a brewery.

After months of back and forth with the industry the AGLC went on to eliminate the production capacity requirement as well. It was this requirement that was preventing craft breweries from starting up in the area. With the capacity requirement now a thing of the past Alberta is expected to open up to three new breweries per year.

The commission also eliminated regulations that made it impossible for brew pubs to sell their beer in liquor stores. They could only sell it in the restaurants. Now they can sell their beer in liquor stores. This is a huge victory to say the least.

The goal is to have the bulk of the beer being consumed in Alberta to actually be produced there as well. With the old regulations being taken off the books the door is now open for that to happen.

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