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Edmonton updates rules for local craft breweries

Edmonton brewery runs into bylaw problems as it tries to sell directly to consumers
WATCH ABOVE: Some city rules are making the owners of a small Edmonton brewery feel a little flat. They already sell their beer to local retailers and pubs, but as Vinesh Pratap reports, selling it directly to beer drinkers is proving to be problematic.

On Monday, city council voted in favour of amendments to a zoning bylaw that it says will help grow the craft brewing industry in Edmonton.

READ MORE: Alberta sees craft brewery boom in last 2 years 

“Microbreweries are a relatively new entrant into the marketplace and we have seen growing interest from businesses wanting to establish small breweries and distilleries in commercial areas and on main streets,” senior planner Colton Kirsop said.

“Industry was telling us that the existing rules were outdated and restrictive.

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“Based on how other jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. were dealing with the issue, we decided listing it as a discretionary use in commercial zones was the best solution to allow the development officer the flexibility to manage a variety of scenarios,” Kirsop explained.

The amendment means breweries’, wineries’ and distilleries’ uses will be added to Zoning Bylaw 12800.

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Therefore, businesses are allowed to manufacture alcoholic beverages and sell their products in the same location.

“This new use would be different from minor and major alcohol sales in that there are no separation distances required, which restricted the ability for businesses to sell the alcohol they produce on site,” the city said in a news release Tuesday.

The amendment changes will make brewery, winery and distillery uses permitted or discretionary in industrial and commercial zones.

READ MORE: Alberta government ‘disappointed’ by leak, will review beer tax policy 

The city says the changes will also reduce barriers to obtaining approval for craft breweries and distilleries in Edmonton and improve local economic development opportunities.

“This change is in response to a number of interested businesses seeking to open in Edmonton’s commercial areas,” the city said.

Current Zoning Bylaw 12800 by Anonymous TdomnV9OD4 on Scribd