BC liquor laws control the manufacture, sales, distribution, and consumption of alcohol in British Columbia. The first place to look when you need to know precisely what the liquor laws allow and don’t allow, is the official BC Government Ministry of Justice, Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (BCLCLB) website.
Links to the categories covered by legislation, along with any consequences or penalties for infractions, can be found on the BCLCLB “Basics” page. Here you will find brief basic information on the following topic areas:
- Legal drinking age
- ID requirements
- Rules for minors
- Drinking in a public place
- Police powers
- Liquor in a motor vehicle
- Liquor and boating
- Buying alcoholic beverages
- Bringing your own wine to restaurant, and taking home unfinished bottles of wine
- Bringing alcoholic beverages into BC for your own personal consumption
- Responsibilities of those who sell alcohol in BC
- Consular liquor
The BCLCLB also offers a Compliance and Enforcement page that provides links to the laws (and penalties) relevant to restaurants, bars, liquor stores, and manufacturers.
The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch homepage will give you all the latest news and updates on requirements, policies, and changes to BC liquor laws in the province, especially the progress of the province’s liquor policy review. (See the Current News column on the right side of the page).
For regulations that apply only to your particular situation, and tips for applying for licenses, these sites may be helpful:
News and Information for BC Breweries, U-Brews, U-Vins, and Manufacturers
To obtain information about BC liquor laws that are relevant to brewers, visit one of the following special interest websites:
NEW! BC Brewer’s and Vintner’s Competitions Allowed (2016)
Here is a recent CBC article on the change in BC liquor laws and policies around holding beer or wine craft-brewing competitions. The craft brewing industry is booming, so there is a lot to learn lately.
Here you’ll find a few more details from the BC Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction “News” page:BC’s Liquor Policy Review makes 73 common-sense recommendations to change BC’s liquor laws so that they reflect current lifestyles, encourage the growth of small businesses and BC’s economy, address calls for consumer convenience and continue to safeguard health and public safety.
Learn more at these links:
- Liquor Policy Review Final Report and Recommendations (PDF): http://ow.ly/Z2CT1
- BC Council of the Canadian Craft Winemakers Association:http://www.acva.ca/en/
- Victoria Beer Week:http://victoriabeerweek.com/
- BrewVIC: http://brewvic.ca/
- BC and Canada liquor manufacturers’ associations
These sites cover most everything you need to know to become part of the growing liquor, beer, and wine brewing and selling industries in BC and across the country. Whether you are a manufacturer, agent, importer, vintner, brewer or restaurant owner, the following websites can help keep you informed.
Association websites often discuss relevant topics of interest, including changes to BC liquor laws and policies that affect association members.
- Alliance of Beverage Licensees
- Association of Canadian Distillers
- BC Restaurant and Food Services Association
- British Columbia Wine Institute
- Brewers of Canada
- Import Vintners and Spirits Association of BC
- Restaurants Canada
- Wine Islands Vintners Association
Need Help Understanding BC Liquor Laws?
If all of this information seems intimidating, remember that Rising Tide Consultants are BC liquor law and licensing experts. If you need help applying for a liquor license or require a consultation about requirements and regulations, we can help. Contact us today to book your consultation.