New off-site liquor rules: AGLC expands policy to allow more at-home drinking options
EDMONTON -- Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) has amended its policies to allow two new at-home options for liquor-store customers.
The AGLC says the move is meant to increase retail sales and create a new way for customers to engage with sellers.
OFF-SITE VIRTUAL TASTINGS
As of Monday, retail liquor stores can offer virtual tastings, meaning samples for high-end products like scotch whiskey can now be brought home or delivered.
Current COVID-19 restrictions have reduced liquor stores' opportunities to interact with customers in this manner. The hope is that allowing an off-site tasting option will generate additional sales possibilities.
"This gives us an opportunity to be able to still do those tastings for customers but in a safe format," Ivonne Martinez, president of the Alberta Liquor Store Association, told CTV News Edmonton.
As part of the update, the maximum sample size has been increased from a half ounce to a full ounce.
"If you're going to go and buy a really expensive scotch for Christmas you may want to try it first," said Martinez. "This gives you the opportunity to go to the store. The store will be able to provide you those samples. Take them home, then you can do that virtual tasting and find out more about the products."
MIXED DRINKS FOR DELIVERY AND TAKE-OUT
The AGLC is also now allowing Class A licensed restaurants and bars to sell in-house menu drinks to customers for both take-out and delivery.
The new rule dictates that the beverages can only be prepared after a customer has placed their order.
Cocktails and other mixed drinks must be sealed in a tamper-proof container with the contents clearly labeled.
“These changes reflect AGLC’s commitment to providing Albertans with unique product choices while easing regulatory burden for businesses," Dave Berry, vice president of AGLC's regulatory services, said in a news release.
"While work on these updates began prior to COVID-19, AGLC has made it a top priority to support liquor licensees during the pandemic – and beyond. These updates will stay in place after the pandemic as we continue to work closely with industry to deliver unique offerings to Albertans in a safe and socially responsible way.”
The Alberta Liquor Store Association is applauding the AGLC's new changes.
"We're really thankful for that. We have been working with the AGLC from the beginning on this," said Martinez. "I know nothing changes very quickly, but we really do appreciate the fact that they were able to get this through just in time for the second lockdown and Christmas time."