Last Updated: 
2021-11-29

What is a Distillery Retail Store Endorsement?

A Distillery Retail Store Endorsement authorizes a distillery to sell its spirits at any location on the licensee’s production site from a retail store on the production site.

To be eligible for a Distillery Retail Store Endorsement a distillery must hold a valid Manufacturer’s Licence – Distillery from the AGCO and the distillery must exercise substantial ownership and control over the production site where the retail store is located. Where the production site is owned and controlled by more than one licensed manufacturer, the brewery must demonstrate to the Registrar that it meets this requirement.

Where more than one retail store is located at the same production site, each licensed manufacturer must own and operate their own retail store and the store must be readily distinguishable from any other authorized retail store located at the same production site. Sales from more than one store may not be conducted in the same location.

A distillery may operate more than one distillery retail store, provided that each store is located at a production site of the manufacturer and the distillery holds a Distillery Retail Store Endorsement for each store. The spirits sold at each store must meet the criteria noted below.

Spirits that May Be Sold at the Retail Store

A distillery may only sell spirits at the distillery retail store if the following criteria are satisfied.

  1. At least 25 per cent of the volume of spirits sold each year must be manufactured, from start to finish, at the production site where the distillery retail store is located.

  2. At least 50 per cent of the volume of spirits sold each year must be manufactured, from start to finish, at a production site where one of the licensee’s distillery retail stores is located.

  3. The remaining volume of spirits sold each year must be distilled, blended, aged or bottled at a production site where one of the licensee’s distillery retail stores is located.

  4. The spirits must be brands that are owned by the licensee.

A distillery may sell spirits at a retail store that has been produced at another production site owned by the distillery, provided that the other production site also has a retail store and the criteria outlined above are satisfied.

The required production steps for specific types of spirits to meet the requirement that the spirits be manufactured, from start to finish, are set out in Appendix A.

Products Other Than Liquor Which May Be Sold

Manufacturers may sell some non-liquor products at a distillery retail store operated under a Distillery Retail Store Endorsement. The list of permissible items is set out in the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.

Things to know before applying

General Eligibility Criteria

Generally, in order to be eligible for a Distillery Retail Store Endorsement:

  • The applicant must be a distillery with a valid Distillery Licence issued by the Registrar.

  • The applicant must meet the requirements set out in the Liquor Licence and Control Act and its regulations.

Please note that the application process also includes a site inspection of the constructed retail store to confirm that all eligibility criteria and requirements have been met.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the holder of a retail store endorsement to ensure that it complies with all federal, provincial and municipal laws including municipal zoning by-laws/requirements.

Supporting documents

What supporting documents/information are needed for a Distillery Retail Store Endorsement application?

When applying for a Distillery Retail Store Endorsement via iAGCO, you will be asked to provide the following as part of your application. These items can be provided to the AGCO at any time during the application process:

  • completed Municipal Information for a Retail Store 

  • site plan detailing the production site and the proposed retail store location

  • floor plan of the proposed retail store including square footage

  • supplementary documentation demonstrating substantial ownership and control of the production site (if ownership and control of the production site shared with any other licensed manufacturer)

 Renewing your Retail Store Endorsement

Retail Store Endorsements are valid for a period of two or four years and expire when the associated Manufacturer’s Licence expires or is terminated. As a courtesy, Manufacturer’s Licence holders will be sent a renewal notice approximately 60 days prior to the expiry date shown on the licence. However, it remains the licensee’s responsibility to ensure the licence is renewed on time.

To ensure your Retail Store Endorsement and Manufacturer’s Licence remain valid, please see the section on “Renewing a Manufacturer’s Licence” for instructions on completing the renewal application.

Moving your distillery retail store to a new location

A distillery must notify the Registrar if it moves its distillery retail store to a new location on the same production site.

A distillery must apply for a new Distillery Retail Store Endorsement if it wants to move the distillery retail store to a different production site of the distillery, or if the distillery wants to move both the production site and the distillery retail store. Please note that the application process also includes a site inspection of the constructed retail store by an AGCO Compliance Official to confirm that all eligibility criteria and requirements have been met.

A distillery retail store cannot be moved to a location away from the distillery’s production site. It must remain located at a production site of the holder of the Retail Store Endorsement.

After the move, the distillery retail store must continue to operate in accordance with all the requirements for a Brewery Retail Store Endorsement, including the requirements noted above about the retail store location, production site and spirits that may be sold in the store.

Transferring your Distillery Retail Store Endorsement

A Distillery Retail Store Endorsement can only be transferred together with the Distillery Licence to which it is attached. Separate applications must be filed for the transfer of the Distillery Retail Store Endorsement and for the transfer of the Distillery Licence. These two applications will be reviewed concurrently.

Was this page useful?

Please help us improve the AGCO website by responding to this survey