Our friends 30min to the north, love craft beer and they have a heck of a selection to enjoy. Up until recently though they couldn’t purchase beer in, say Saskatchewan, and bring it home to British Columbia. The laws prohibited cross provincial transportation of beer, cider and wine.

That has all changed

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, joined by Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, today announced that Canadians will now be able to purchase beer and spirits in provinces where they don’t live and bring them home for personal use. The measure removes unnecessary red tape and is expected to benefit independent breweries and distilleries in communities across Canada by opening up regional markets and generating jobs.

Amendments to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) remove federal barriers and now allow individuals to move beer and spirits from one province to another for personal use. They were adopted as part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 and follow the Government’s elimination of similar barriers in 2012 in order to permit the interprovincial movement of wine for personal use.

As provincial liquor laws govern the movement, sale, purchase and possession of wine, beer, and spirits within each province, changes to these laws are often also required to allow interprovincial movement. Since the previous amendment in 2012, both British Columbia and Manitoba allow personal importations of wine. It was noted today that both Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia should be on board by July of this year. The Government of Canada is encouraging all provinces to support this measure and enact the necessary laws to facilitate and encourage interprovincial trade.

Let’s hope this is a harbinger of greater access for everyone to Canadian craft beer. Maybe we’ll start seeing more cross-border Canadian craft beers.