Travel Blog

4 Nov

Beer and Wine Coming to Vancouver Supermarkets?

Photo credit: Billy V | Flickr

Photo credit: Billy V | Flickr

Have you ever thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if I could pick up a bottle of wine at Safeway while I’m out getting my groceries?”

You’re not alone.  After all, residents of Ontario, not to mention many U.S. states, are already able to buy alcohol in grocery stores.  Now, it looks like Vancouver may be next.

The B.C. government is actively considering allowing sales of beer and wine in supermarkets, according to an article by Tiffany Crawford in the Vancouver Sun.  The proposal is being considered alongside eight recommendations from the Canadian Restaurant and Food Association submitted to B.C.’s Liquor Policy Review.

Alcohol would likely be sold using the “store within a store” model employed in Ontario. Currently licensed wine and beer retailers, as well as B.C. Liquor Stores, would be allowed to operate within supermarkets.

The proposal has received overwhelming support during the public review process, according to John Yap, parliamentary secretary for the B.C. Liquor Policy Review.  Some 80 percent of comments during the nearly three-month consultation process have endorsed selling beer and wine in grocery stores.

Many residents of rural B.C. are already able to buy liquor in grocery stores – including spirits, cider, wine and beer – an indication that the system can work in the province.

Among the other suggestions put forth by the Canadian Restaurant and Food Association is a proposal to allow happy hours in the province.  Currently, B.C. laws prohibit changing liquor prices over the course of a day, ruling out the possibility of happy hours.  While drinkers might welcome the cheaper booze, the Vancouver Police Department has come out staunchly against the proposal, which it says will encourage binge drinking.

Additional suggestions brought up during the consultation process include allowing the sale of craft beer and wine at farmers’ markets.

Would you like to see wine and beer sold at Vancouver grocery stores? Let us know below. 

For more updates on Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.  

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