It started with a now deleted Facebook post, Rebellion Brewing alleged that Minhas Sask. Ventures was selling their beer without permission, under Minhas taps.
“Frankly we were tipped off that the product was there and tipped off on how they acquired it. They certainly didn’t order the product from us so that certainly was concerning,” Rebellion Brewing President Mark Heise said.
After contacting Minhas, Heise had the kegs returned, and then filed a complaint with the SLGA.
Minhas Sask. Ventures owner Moni Minhas said SLGA inspectors visited his Regina-based distillery and taproom on Thursday.
“I’m glad that they came. I’d rather have the authorities come and check everything out in the beginning rather than six months from now, because obviously I don’t want to be offside in anyway shape or form,” Minhas said.
The business opened in November, primarily making and selling a line of spirits. There is also a taproom that will eventually sell Minhas beer once they have a brewing license.
Minhas said he had an agreement with a brewery to supply beer for the taproom, but began to run out quickly and could not get more beer from that supplier.
“I have a pub in town that’s a friend of mine. I asked can I buy some kegs from you? He said sure, buy some kegs – perfectly legal – it’s Saskatchewan craft beer made and we put it on,” Minhas explained.
Minhas reinforced that once Rebellion complained he stopped selling their beer and returned the kegs.
In a letter dated, Dec. 13, 2018 Heise wrote to his customers that it is against SLGA regulations to resell kegs of Rebellion beer to other licensed establishments.
“If pubs are now able to sell product to other producers and other people with permits that kind of throws the entire SLGA working model of retail and distribution completely out the window,” Heise said.
The SLGA Commiercial Permittee Policy Manual says commercial permittees can only buy from certain businesses including: retail stores, microbreweries or micro distilleries’ off-sales, breweries authorized to sell beer on behalf of the SLGA, or the Crown corporation itself.
The SLGA said they cannot provide comment, as the investigation is ongoing.