B.C. now allows single-serve beer and wine take-out and delivery with meals

Province previously only allowed pre-packaged alcoholic drinks with meals

A single glass of bubbly is enjoyed on a sunny Vancouver day | Glen Korstrom

The B.C. government is continuing to loosen restrictions on selling alcohol, with news today that restaurants can immediately start selling single servings of beer, wine or unmixed spirits to customers who buy meals for take-out or delivery.

Previously, diners could only buy wine or beer with meals when those beverages came in pre-packaged containers.

The government-created Business Technical Advisory Panel (Liquor Policy) had recommended the change, as part of a slate of 23 recommendations for how the government should modernize liquor regulations in B.C.

"It's not really a very major change," said Mark Hicken, who chaired that panel. "It was just kind of to create some consistency in the fact that you could get a single product, rather than having to buy a whole bottle."

Hicken told BIV that the B.C. government has yet to implement some much bigger changes that his panel recommended. 

Chief among those changes would be to allow restaurant owners to buy products directly from private liquor stores, or wine stores. Hicken said that he expects the government to eventually make a clear statement on whether or not this is something that it will allow. 

"Another important change would be changes to the wholesale distribution system to speed up the delivery of products," he said.

"There's definitely been a study by Deloitte on that, and it's being considered right now. I know there's some work that the [BC Liquor Distribution Branch] is doing on making the system more efficient, and getting products out faster."

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom