From speakeasies to theatre cocktails: Manitoba’s liquor law history
Did you know women weren’t allowed to serve alcohol in beer parlours until 1975, and customers weren’t allowed to drink alcohol while standing until 1979? Here’s a look at the history of liquor laws in Manitoba:
1657 The first Canadian liquor laws are introduced.
1878 Manitoba’s first provincial Liquor Commission is established.
1916 Prohibition comes to Manitoba. Illegal “speakeasies” and bootleggers flourish.
1923 Prohibition ends. The Government Liquor Control Act introduces strict permits and limits.
1928 Beer parlours are licensed to sell beer by the glass. Mixed-gender drinking is prohibited.
1934 Beer vendors appear in Manitoba.
1955 Liquor Control Act is brought forward. Most of the basic provisions still in effect.
1956 Manitobans need to complete an order form to buy alcohol. Sunday service is permitted. Beer parlours must close during the supper hour.
1957 Mixed-gender drinking is allowed in cocktail lounges, beverage rooms and restaurants.
1962 Dancing and drinking is allowed for the first time.
1965 Games (but not gambling) are permitted for the first time.
1968 Limits on individual purchases of liquor are removed.
1970 The legal drinking age is lowered to 18. Self-serve liquor marts open.
1975 Women are permitted to handle, serve and sell beer in a beer parlour. First duty-free store.
1979 Patrons are allowed to stand up while drinking.
1980 Individuals can bring alcohol into Manitoba from other provinces.
1983 MLCC introduces photo identification cards for proof of age.
1984 People without citizenship can apply for liquor licences.
1993 Vendors can now sell imported beer, as well as domestic.
1994 Privately owned wine stores are introduced.
2001 Minimum drink pricing comes into effect.
2004 Promotions encouraging excessive drinking are outlawed.
2005 Restaurants can recork a bottle of wine and allow the patron to take the bottle home.
2007 Patrons can carry drinks to washrooms.
2011 Hospitality strategy unveiled. The first Liquor Mart Express store opens. Alcohol-free options are offered at Liquor Marts. Brew pubs are permitted. Strict new public disorder rules take effect.
2012 New identification requirements and penalties to combat underage drinking. Movie theatre licensed to serve liquor. Province announces the amalgamation of liquor and gaming regulatory services.
May 2013 Introduction of the liquor and Gaming Control Act, the first complete overhaul of Manitoba’s liquor laws since the 1950s.
— source: Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba