July 13, 2020

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

We are happy to announce the provincial government will be extending the following policies:

  • Extended from July 15 to August 31, 2020: Temporary extension of liquor retail hours of service for licensee retail stores, wine stores, special wine stores, and liquor manufacturers with on-site store endorsements.

Both the policies and extensions were among of series of recommendations from the Business Technical Advisory Panel to help support BC’s struggling hospitality businesses during the pandemic.

Delivery of packaged liquor from food and liquor primaries: 

On March 31, 2020, the LCRB temporarily authorized liquor primary and food primary licensees to sell packaged liquor of all types – including draught beer in growlers and bombers – with a meal, liquor in unopened containers from the service area to a patron for consumption outside the service area. 

Further to the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) order which prohibited on-site service to patrons, liquor primary and food primary licensees were authorized to sell draught beer in growlers and bombers. This enabled the licensees to sell stock held in kegs before it spoiled. The expiry date of this temporary authority was July 15, 2020.

In order to continue providing support for industry and social distancing measures, this temporary authority is being extended and will remain in effect until October 31, 2020. 

The sale of liquor for off-site consumption must continue to be in conjunction with the sale of a meal that is for take-out or delivery. 

Licensees may sell packaged liquor of all types for off-site consumption. However, effective July 16, 2020, food primary and liquor primary will no longer be allowed to sell draught beer in growlers and bombers for off-site consumption.

This temporary permission had been granted to allow licensees to offload draught inventory when hospitality businesses were not allowed to provide dine-in options. Now that dine-in service has resumed, LPs and FPs are prohibited from selling any liquor you have packaged yourself–including draught beer in growlers and bombers.

Additionally, meals purchased with liquor for off-site consumption must not be consumed in your establishment. 

For more information:

Extension of temporary hours of sale and delivery:
On April 3, 2020, the LCRB temporarily extended the hours of liquor service for Licensee Retail Stores, Wine Stores and Special Wine Stores, and Manufacturer Onsite Store endorsements to no earlier than 7:00 am and end no later than 11:00 pm. 
These extended hours were intended to assist retailers in implementing the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) orders and recommendations, including in relation to social/physical distancing and protecting vulnerable populations.
Associated with the extension of hours of liquor service, the LCRB also authorized delivery services to purchase liquor on behalf of a customer from a liquor store or from any licensee authorized to sell in unopened containers, and deliver and sell that liquor to a customer, provided the delivery does not take place between 11:30 pm and 7:00 am.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Province’s declaration of a state of emergency and the PHO’s declaration of a public health emergency, and to support licensees in complying with requirements under PHO orders and recommendations, the LCRB is extending the authorizations to August 31, 2020.
For more information:

Note from ABLE BC:

These policy extensions are in direct response to the advocacy work of the Business Technical Advisory Panel, as well as ABLE BC and our industry partners the BCRFA and BC Craft Brewers Guild. 

ABLE BC greatly appreciates the ongoing work of the Provincial Health Officer, Attorney General David Eby, staff, and the LCRB to support our industry in this time of crisis.

Currently, over two thirds of BC’s hospitality businesses are not operating profitably right now. These changes, coupled with temporary wholesale pricing for hospitality licensees – coming into effect July 20 – will help these businesses survive.

If you are a hospitality licensee and have not yet registered for the Hospitality Product Catalogue, please do so immediatelyYou must register by July 20 or you will not know the wholesale price.

We’ve heard concerns from our LRS members about liquor and food primaries being allowed to sell packaged liquor inadvertently creating new retail stores.

Government has made clear they are not interested in creating 8000 new retail locations. This is not the intention of the policy – rather it is to support the struggling hospitality sector and help them get through this pandemic.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Jeff: 

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