Recent changes to BC’s liquor policies will see retail stores permitted to sell alcohol next spring.

Russ Ovans, owner of the Barkerville Brewing Company in Quesnel, says it will be interesting to see how the concept rolls out for locally owned breweries.

“Private liquor stores, in particular, have done such a good job in supporting craft beer revolution in this province. They were the first to get on board and carry our products and give us the shelf space and the government liquor stores followed.”

“The fear for craft-brewers in this province is that we are not going to get the shelf space within the larger grocery chains.”

Ovans adds that the changes which also aim to support small and medium-sized breweries to grow and expand, won’t necessarily have an immediate impact.

“This incentive that existed for growth through higher taxation, didn’t really apply to us or wasn’t going probably going to for another 5 years or so.”

“This is more for breweries in the size of say Phillips, Pacific Western, breweries that have experienced high volumes for a number of years and are right on the cusp of tax changes.”

The liquor store within a store model will launch on April 1st, with participating retailers with a shop size of at least 10,000 square feet required to show that around 75% of their sales are from food products.

BC Liquor Stores will also be extending their hours of operation to match private liquor stores, including opening on Sundays, effective April 1st.