Two Sergeants Brewery closes down in Edmonton, says bureaucratic delays to blame

Click to play video: 'Edmontonians looking to open new brew pub run into unanticipated costs'
Edmontonians looking to open new brew pub run into unanticipated costs
WATCH ABOVE: (August 2018) An Edmonton business is looking at delays and thousands of dollars in unanticipated costs. As Tom Vernon reports, they're working to open a new brew pub but are simply stuck in the wrong zone – Aug 15, 2018

An Edmonton brewery has permanently closed its doors, after it says zoning and red tape issues from the city made it “financially impossible” to continue operating.

Two Sergeants Brewery made the announcement on social media Friday.

The company had previously made a public announcement in mid-September that it had closed its storefront, but at the time it said it would be working through a restructuring plan for the business.

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In an emailed statement to Global News, Two Sergeants owner Kevin Moore said the decision to close was made after a series of “very confusing” city zoning issues that led to the business running out of funding.

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The brewery first opened in Fort Saskatchewan in 2015, and then made the move to Edmonton’s Brewery District in 2018.

That move to Edmonton was also plagued with problems, after the new location was found to be just 17 feet north of the city’s Brewery District — which had been rezoned by the city to allow for breweries, wineries and distilleries to easily operate there.

But because Two Sergeants was located outside of that zone, it had to apply for a rezoning and two separate business and liquor licenses.

“When we finally did get the proper permits to open, it was done by separating our enterprise into 2 businesses,” Moore said in the statement. “One side was zoned light industrial for the manufacturing of product, while the other side was zoned as a neighbourhood pub.”

The business opened its new location in November 2018, but Moore said that he was informed “at the last moment” that the company would not be able to sell product directly to the customer for off site consumption, such as beer in growlers or cans. That would have required another rezoning, which the company applied for and received at the end of May 2019.

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But then, Moore said he was told he needed a new development permit as well.

“We were in the process of doing that, but unfortunately we ran out of funding,” Moore said.

“For the last three months we have been trying to source new investment and funding to continue but were unsuccessful.”


Ward 6 Councillor Scott McKeen said he was disappointed to hear that the business had closed, but believes the issue is complex.

“All these codes and regulations (were) developed over time to protect people and private property, public property from reckless damage. From improper construction, improper procedures.

“I think sometimes though, we create this tangle of regulations which are almost impossible to figure your way through,” McKeen said.

McKeen said he would be discussing the issue with council on whether or not the city should be doing a review on its zoning policies.

“We felt we were finally on the brink of success,” said Moore. “However time was not on our side.”

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