As the British Columbia government takes the first steps in overhauling this province’s liquor laws, I found it interesting to see this scene from Thursday morning in Paris. If our liquor laws are loosened and we are given the privilege of enjoying a beer or bottle of wine among friends in the park or at the beach, I can only hope that we are this responsible about it.
As I traveled through Europe myself, I was at first surprised at how openly alcohol was consumed and enjoyed. I was also amazed at how nonchalantly people treated it, and eventually it just became the norm.
It was always great to have a glass of cool, crisp pinot grigio by the waters edge with friends, or spend an afternoon playing games in a local outdoor beer garden while listening to a live band play in the background.
Easing of liquor laws doesn’t have to mean drunken debauchery at all hours of the day and night or uncontrolled hooliganism. Done right, the ability to have a drink in public can add to the culture of a city. Just think of sipping a glass of wine with your significant other while laying at the base of the Eiffel Tower. It is cliche, but happens every day, and just wouldn’t be the same if alcohol was banned in public, as it is here.
Liquor laws in the province have become cumbersome to the point of becoming almost nonsensical. Did you know that up until just a few months ago it was illegal to transport even a single bottle of your own wine across the provincial border to Alberta, yet you could still bring it acorss the USA/Canada border (as long as you stayed the required length of time).
Liquor laws for Craft Wine and Beer Making stores, like Urban Vintner, are just as archaic in some instances.
- Would you like to serve your craft-made wine at a wedding or other party that requires a liquor licence?
- Would you like to be able to sample wines at a store like Urban Vintner before choosing which one (or more) to make?
- Would you like to take your own bottle of wine to a restaurant that allows it (on the condition that you pay a small corkage fee)?
- Would you like to join a wine-club at your local wine store where you can organize group purchases with other customers so that you can go home with a variety of wines, or take part in a “leave-a-bottle, take-a-bottle” exchange at the store?
Currently these are all illegal, but they don’t have to remain that way.
Be sure to voice your support (or opposition as the case may be) as the BC government looks for input in carving out our new regulations. Keep an eye-out for the public online forum later this month – I will be sure to post a link from the Urban Vintner website.