10 Things to look Forward to with New BC Liquor Laws

Photograph by: Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Photograph by: Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Finally someone has knocked some sense into the British Columbia Government! If you haven’t already heard, the 73 recommendations to finally rid us of those ridiculous liquor rules might soon be applied.

The Vancouver Sun reported on the gov’s change of heart mentioning all the ways that our drinking freedoms will no longer be imposed up! Is that too dramatic? Whatever, I’m sure you agree that half these laws are just dumb. Here is the low down on the most important changes we could see in the future and, in some cases, in the very near future:

1. No more fences around beer gardens. Sure it keeps the youngsters out, but it also keeps us in, like pigs in a pen! This will be a welcome change to the concert scene. Apparently it also means that drinks will be sold at more locations in, say, an outdoor concert. That should help the lines.

2. More drink varieties at sporting events. Thank you for this one. Listen, I’m not going to ask for a white russian or a strawberry daiquiri (unless you already have the machine of course) so just serve me something other than beer. (This one and #1 could even be in place as early as this summer!!)

3. Introduction of liquor sales in grocery stores. This would be a total hallelujah moment! How nice would it be to grab a 6-pack with your carton of milk? But hold your horses because there might be a glitch with this one; apparently it might be a “store-within-a-store” model, meaning existing liquor stores would have to move into grocery stores. And what liquor store with an already existing clientele and established location would want to move into a likely even smaller spot inside somewhere else? I see issues, but at least they are talking about it.

4. Hotel drinks can be brought to your hotel room. Currently guests are not allowed to carry their drinks up to their room – only hotel staff can do it, and between certain, limited hours only.

5. Happy Hour! Finally we can go into a restaurant for happy hour and actually get happy! Although, not without some other annoying limitations (are you surprised?). HH prices wouldn’t be able to dip below a certain number that is consistent with what health advocates say. Whatever, give me a 2×1 with a tiny discount and I’ll be happy we at least partly won. This would do away with the requirement that you order food with your drink in a primarily restaurant scene.

6. Kids can accompany parents into pubs. This one doesn’t affect me personally, but I can see why some young parents might find this law extremely annoying. On the other hand, does this mean I can’t scream obscenities in pubs anymore?

7. No more extensive paperwork for festivals organizers petitioning for a liquor license.  Apparently its a huge pain in the ass to get a liquor license for festivals because there is paperwork a mile long to go through before getting approved. The changes would make this process easier and all online. I like this. Sounds like there might be more festivals and more drinking in my future.

Photograph by: Stuart Davis, Vancouver Sun

Photograph by: Stuart Davis, Vancouver Sun

8. Family events can serve homemade beer and wine. Didn’t even know there were so many families trying to serve home brewskis! But hey, more power to the family reunions that just want to get drunk and dance!

9. SAMPLES and refillable growlers at liquor stores. Yup thats right ladies and gents, free and cheaper booze! Who cares if the former are in tiny little cups. At least liquor stores will be allowed to give people a sample before they leap over that jacked-up price cliff. For those looking for refills on their favorite brew, you’re the real lucky ones here since you can probably hit the place closer rather than the brewery itself.

10. Quality assurance for BC craft beer and artisan-spirits as well as license to sell at temporary retail sites. This will protect us from the not so great homemade brews. Anything to make my cold one taste even better is fine by me! As for the license for these small time brewers and distillers, now they can sell their goods at the farmers market.

So the moral of the story is things might be moving along. As they said, “they don’t happen overnight, but they will happen in some cases fairly quickly”. Translation: don’t hold your breath, but you might be able to get that daiquiri at your next sporting event after all.

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