The Canadian Nanny State. Canada has all kinds of weird restrictive liquor laws. More than even the American South ever had, and still has, despite this recent roll back in Ontario. Nice place to visit but…
“There is not good living where there is not good drinking” – Benjamin Franklin
TORONTO - Ontario is about to get a few more sips of alcohol freedom.
Under regulatory changes that take effect on , Ontarians will be able to carry their glass of wine from the winery tour to the same winery’s restaurant legally without first handing it over to a server.
Ontarians will also be able to purchase a bottle of wine or beer at the manufacturer’s restaurant and have it brought to their table and added to their food bill.
This will only be allowed during official alcohol retailing hours in Ontario — — and provided the manufacturer has the proper permits.
Users of brew-your-own stores will be permitted to officially designate someone else to take over their brewing activities, like a friend or relative.
Currently, brew-your-own fans must be present to personally mix the ingredients and package the wine under Ontario’s alcohol regulations.
And Ontarians with a wine-making or beer-making relative will be able to serve the homemade beverage at a wider array of family events, including anniversaries, rather than just weddings or religious ceremonies, as long as they get the required special permit licence ($25, if no charge for alcohol, $75, if the family charges a fee for event).
A number of other regulations that place bizarre caps on how wineries and brewers go about their business will also be unscrewed.
Baby booze steps by some jurisdictions’ measure, perhaps, but leaps for the Ontario government which has sought to “modernize” alcohol retailing and distribution in the province.
The most notable of these efforts is, of course, the arrival of beer at some grocery stores. The LCBO announced this week that it would issue new licences to grocers to sell beer, wine and cider.
Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of Grape Growers of Ontario, said the changes already underway have improved the sales of Ontario wine, and the industry welcomes the regulations.
“There are many regulations that have changed – some of them were so restrictive that you couldn’t even take a glass of wine off the porch and go into the vineyard if you were at a winery for example,” Zimmerman said. “We’ve got wine in grocery stores coming. That’s a huge change for the industry.”