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As liquor consultants, Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors has helped countless businesses apply for BC liquor licenses. You may not know that we also support businesses in Alberta. If you own a private liquor store, restaurant, bar, pub or wine store in British Columbia, then you’re probably familiar with the many types of BC liquor licenses available. If you’re considering opening a liquor business in Alberta, having an overview of equivalent Alberta liquor license applications can be helpful.
Below is a table of BC liquor licenses and the corresponding equivalent Alberta liquor licenses.
|BC Liquor License||Alberta Liquor License|
|Liquor Primary: for businesses whose primary focus is liquor service (i.e., bars, pubs, lounges)||Class A, minors prohibited: liquor is the primary source of business|
|Food Primary: for businesses whose primary focus is food service but also serve liquor (i.e., restaurants, bistros, cafes)||Class A, minors allowed: food is primary source of business|
|Licensee Retail Store: for businesses who sell liquor for private consumption (i.e., liquor stores)||Class D: for sale of liquor consumed off-site (retail liquor store or off-sales)|
|Wine Store: separate retail stores that sell wine||Class D: unlike in BC, a separate license (other than Class D) is not required to sell wine or spirits exclusively|
|Special Wine Store: for wine sold on selected shelves of a grocery store||In Alberta, grocery stores/supermarkets are prohibited from selling liquor|
|Ubrew and UVin: for businesses that allow customers to ferment beer or wine on-premises for personal consumption||Class F: for the production of beer, wine, cider ferment-on-premises facilities|
|Manufacturer: for manufacturers of wine, beer (including brew pubs), cider and spirits||Class E: for distillers, vintners, and brewers who have a permanent manufacturing facility|
|Agent: for businesses that promote liquor products||Liquor Agency License: for businesses who would like to import and market a manufacturer’s or supplier’s liquor products|
|Catering: for caterers||Class D: a Class D license is required for commercial caterers that operate a permanent kitchen to cater at public and private functions|
|Rural Licensee Retail Store: for general stores that sell alcoholic beverages in rural areas and resorts||Class D: a Class D license is required for general merchandise liquor stores who sell liquor and other non-liquor products to the public|
|Liquor Special Event Permit: for event hosts to offer liquor at special events||Public Special Event License: to sell and serve liquor at one-time community or commercial events open to the public (i.e. beer garden, theatre event, food or wine fair)
Private Special Events License: to serve or sell liquor at private events open to members and/or invited guests (i.e. weddings, banquets). There is also an annual license available to organizations that have recurring events such as meetings
There are also several other types of BC liquor licenses not compared above, including: Liquor Charitable Auction permit, Ethyl Alcohol Purchase permit and Non-Beverage Alcohol Exemption. Please contact us to discuss if one or more of these is applicable to your business or organization.
Apply for an Alberta or BC Liquor License. Thrive Has Your Back!
The consultants at Thrive take the confusion out of liquor license applications. We simplify the complicated and make the process painless and less time consuming for you. Our understanding of BC and Alberta liquor license application requirements give you a better chance at application approval and a smooth start to your business.