– – – Liquor Laws Modernized to Increase Customer Choice: Minister Chomiak
Manitobans who make wine and beer with home-brewing kits will soon be able to make those products at local stores and take them home when they’re ready, Mineral Resources Minister Dave Chomiak, minister responsible for the Liquor and Gaming Control Act, announced today.
The Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (LGA) is now accepting applications from Manitoba retailers that sell home wine- and beer-making supplies as their primary business to offer in-store brewing services to their customers, the minister said.
“During our consultations on modernizing liquor laws, Manitoba consumers and businesses expressed interest in opening up opportunities for in-store wine and beer making,” Minister Chomiak said. “In-store brewing offers an opportunity for Manitobans to enjoy and learn about beer and wine making even if they do not have the space in their homes, or don’t wish to purchase, operate and clean the equipment themselves.”
Wine and brew-making supply retailers will be able to help their customers select the ingredient kits for beer and wine, and provide instructional advice, equipment and manufacturing space for the production of wine and beer for home consumption. In-store brewing facilities operate in the majority of other Canadian jurisdictions including Saskatchewan and Ontario.
To help develop a Manitoba approach for in-store brewing, the LGA has been consulting with local businesses that currently sell home kits for wine and beer, the minister said. He added Manitoba’s approach reflects best practices across Canada, establishes social responsibility requirements and aligns with the federal excise regulations.
During the next two years, the LGA will evaluate the in-store brewing authorization to assess the regulatory model’s success in the areas of entrepreneurial opportunity, public safety, consumer choice, red tape reduction and social responsibility, Minister Chomiak said.
The announcement complements recent provincial initiatives to enhance consumer choice including the extension of liquor service hours during NHL playoff games,the licencing of tasting rooms attached to local breweries, the addition of craft beer growler bars at select Manitoba Liquor Mart outlets and beer vendor locations, the expansion of Liquor Mart Express stores, and the licensing of liquor service at spas and salons.
The change is made possible by the new Liquor and Gaming Control Act, which came into effect April 1, 2014, as part of the Manitoba government's ongoing modernization of liquor laws that will offer businesses increased opportunities to respond to evolving consumer demands, eliminate red tape and improve public safety.
For more details please visit the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba at www.lgamanitoba.ca.