Beer at the barber? B.C. businesses can now apply for liquor licenses
Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewing samples his beer while getting a beard shave at Victory Barber and Brand in Victoria. Nov. 16, 2016. The B.C. government has announced that as of Jan. 23, 2017, it will expand liquor licensing to all types of businesses in the province. (CTV Vancouver Island)
If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy a beer with your beard trim – or a pint with your pedicure – there’s good news.
The B.C. government has announced that as of Jan. 23, 2017, it will expand liquor licensing to all types of businesses in the province, opening up new opportunities for local barbershops, spas and more.
“Previously liquor primary licenses were only available to businesses in the hospitality, entertainment and beverage sectors,” said John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform. “The changes we’re announcing today will cut red tape for businesses like barbershops, salons, spas, cooking schools, art galleries and bookstores to name a few.”
The changes are intended to help businesses diversify while also giving B.C. craft breweries a chance to expand their sales, Yap said at an event at Victory Barber & Brand in Victoria.
Any business can apply for a license the same way bars and restaurants do, so long as it doesn’t operate from a motor vehicle or target minors as customers.
All staff serving liquor at a business will be required to complete their “Serving-It-Right” training, and businesses will be under the same regulatory scrutiny, Yap said.
Matty Conrad, owner of Victory, said the changes have been a long time coming – and are welcomed with open arms at the barbershop.
“The most common comment I get in here is ‘Jeez, I love this place. You know what it’s missing?’ Very commonly that answer is some sort of a drink,” he said. “Being able to get together, have a casual drink and a good time is something that the barber shop is very easily able to support and is certainly the point.”
Matt Phillips, owner of Phillips Brewing, was also at the event and said the local brewing community is thrilled to be able to have more opportunities to sell its products.
“We’re really excited about this modernization because really, beer has changed a lot in the last number of years,” he said. “This helps us to bring the serving experience into a more modern framework, just as the beer has changed.”
The changes are part of B.C.’s years-long effort to modernize outdated liquor laws.
The province’s Liquor Policy Review has so far made 73 recommendations to give consumers more choice, 48 of which have already been implemented.