Beer and Wine Coming to Vancouver Supermarkets?

Photo credit: Billy V | Flickr

Photo credit: Billy V | Flickr

Have you ever thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if I could pick up a bottle of wine at Safeway while I’m out getting my groceries?”

You’re not alone.  After all, residents of Ontario, not to mention many U.S. states, are already able to buy alcohol in grocery stores.  Now, it looks like Vancouver may be next.

The B.C. government is actively considering allowing sales of beer and wine in supermarkets, according to an article by Tiffany Crawford in the Vancouver Sun.  The proposal is being considered alongside eight recommendations from the Canadian Restaurant and Food Association submitted to B.C.’s Liquor Policy Review.

Alcohol would likely be sold using the “store within a store” model employed in Ontario. Currently licensed wine and beer retailers, as well as B.C. Liquor Stores, would be allowed to operate within supermarkets.

The proposal has received overwhelming support during the public review process, according to John Yap, parliamentary secretary for the B.C. Liquor Policy Review.  Some 80 percent of comments during the nearly three-month consultation process have endorsed selling beer and wine in grocery stores.

Many residents of rural B.C. are already able to buy liquor in grocery stores – including spirits, cider, wine and beer – an indication that the system can work in the province.

Among the other suggestions put forth by the Canadian Restaurant and Food Association is a proposal to allow happy hours in the province.  Currently, B.C. laws prohibit changing liquor prices over the course of a day, ruling out the possibility of happy hours.  While drinkers might welcome the cheaper booze, the Vancouver Police Department has come out staunchly against the proposal, which it says will encourage binge drinking.

Additional suggestions brought up during the consultation process include allowing the sale of craft beer and wine at farmers’ markets.

Would you like to see wine and beer sold at Vancouver grocery stores? Let us know below. 

For more updates on Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.  

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8 Responses to Beer and Wine Coming to Vancouver Supermarkets?

  1. Marco

    It would be great, saves people an extra trip to a liquor store.
    In Europe it’s normal to get your beer in a supermarket.
    And the prices are cheaper than in a liquor store.

  2. Tomas

    I would like to see the VPD’s evidence that supports this binge drinking theory.
    Regardless – since when is it the VPD’s place to be society’s parental figure/conscience..?

  3. Marisa

    I’m not aware of anywhere in Ontario that you can buy booze at the grocery store (yet). You definitely can in Quebec, but we’re still trying. Got ourselves a pilot program, so fingers crossed but doesn’t look like it!

  4. Yvonne

    Yes it’s long overdue. We have liquor stores where we can buy it already what’s the difference. The government didn’t seem to worry about bringing in casino’s into the province and the negative impact that would have on society. You can now buy lottery tickets at the checkout in the grocery stores. If someone has an addictive personality they will find the liquor no matter where it is. I’m guessing it won’t make the government more money or they wouldn’t hesitate to do it. That’s my opinion.

  5. Peter Beer

    Id like to know where these B.C. “journalist” are getting the idea that Ontario sells booze in grocery stores. You are the second so called “reporter” to say this. Maybe you should stop copying other peoples articles, including the misinformation they provided. I was in 5 Ontario cities in September/October and none of them had booze. They are going to put some liquor stores in grocery stores in the future as a supposed trial run but not yet. Please do some fact checking and stop copying articles from the incorrect Metro.

    • Kris

      So if you go into some grocery stores in Ontario they have a special section where you can buy what they call “Ontario” wine (which may or may not be based on grapes actually grown there). Look up Winerack. This is the “store within a store” I’ve seen it at Loblaws for instance when visiting Ontario.

  6. Marlene

    Love it always bought my booze in the grocery store in the uk.

  7. Pitu

    That s the best idea.I mean what s the different anyway as long as store has to set out a rule n follow the s more convenience for every the states u can buy at gas station.does that mean drunk people are every where? Don’t think so.