(June 1st, 2015)

In 2013, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) launched Regulatory Modernization in Ontario’s Beverage Alcohol Industry, a comprehensive review of the AGCO’s policies related to the regulation of Ontario’s wine, beer and spirits manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives, ferment-on-premise operators, and liquor delivery services.

This initiative is focused on modernizing the AGCO’s policies and procedures in order to reduce the administrative burden on businesses in Ontario’s beverage alcohol industry, remove barriers to new investment and innovation where appropriate, and help ensure the continued responsible sale and service of alcohol.

As part of this initiative, the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming approved an initial series of policy reforms in September 2014 which included, for example, changes to allow liquor delivery services to accept advanced orders prior to the date on which the alcohol will be delivered, as well as changes to allow wineries that include International-Canadian Blend wines as part of their total production mix to be eligible to operate an on-site retail store for the purpose of selling their Ontario wine.

The AGCO continues to work with stakeholders on a number of initiatives and is pleased to announce that the Registrar has approved an additional reform to reduce the regulatory burden for on-site distillery retail stores.

Effective June 1st, 2015, licensed Ontario distillers will no longer be required to maintain a minimum “batch still” capacity of 5,000 litres or minimum “continuous still” capacity of 150 litres per hour in order to be eligible for an on-site distillery retail store.

This reform is the result of extensive consultations between the AGCO and stakeholder representatives. For more information, please email or call the AGCO’s Customer Service Department at 416 326-8700 (GTA) or 1 800 522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario).

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