More choice offered at winery special events

B.C.'s wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries will now be able to offer more choice in the way of libations.

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton was on hand with owner of Painted Rock Estate Winery John Skinner to announce new changes to B.C.'s liquor policy allowing more options for drinks at special events held at wineries

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton was on hand with owner of Painted Rock Estate Winery John Skinner to announce new changes to B.C.'s liquor policy allowing more options for drinks at special events held at wineries

New updates to B.C.’s liquor policy are adding more choice in libations to special events.

Prior to the changes a winery could only sell wines produced on site and breweries were only able to sell local beer without a special events license.

As of July 28, distilleries, wineries, cideries and breweries with licensed lounges or special event areas are able to sell liquor they don’t produce to customers. The sales of liquors produced off-site will be capped at 20 per cent of total sales each quarter.

“It’s cutting red tape again and it’s opening it up, and it’s making a big difference,” said Dan Ashton, Penticton MLA.

It’s going to make things run a lot smoother for John Skinner, owner of Painted Rock Estate Winery.

“I’ve got 25 weddings planned this year and we’re probably doing another 10-15 events,” Skinner said. “It just makes a ton of sense. It’s great for us as a winery, it’s great for a province as a new adjunct to the industry. It’s very complimentary.”

Skinner said he’s had some nervous brides worried about the lack of choice in drinks prior to the changes

“This solves so many issues, we were booking weddings where we would have to de-licence, and we’re only able to six times a year,” Skinner said.

The changes are part of 35 recommendations put forward from the government review of B.C.’s liquor policy.

“Sometimes people want a cold beer and it’s not to interfere with the licenses that (Painted Rock) or distilleries or cideries have, it’s to offer another option to people,” Ashton said.

“Today is an absolute great announcement especially for here where there are 200-plus wineries.”