Make Beer and Wine in Store

One of the most difficult parts of brewing beer and wine, even from a kit, is having the time, space and the materials to do so.  Well, those people are in luck!

The Manitoba Government has announced that the Liquor and Gaming authority will now be able to authorize businesses to allow brewing on site!  What does this mean?  It means that places like Brewers Direct, Grape and Grain, and Wine Sense, will be able to provide space for home brewers to mix, ferment, and bottle their kit of choice on site.

According to the Backgrounder “In-store brewing facilities provide customers with the ingredients, instructional advice, and equipment to produce wine and beer for off-site personal consumption in private locations. Customers purchase ingredients on-site, mix their wine or beer, and leave it on the premises for fermentation. After a period of time, customers return to bottle their wine or beer and remove the product from the site.

Anyone who has ever made wine or beer, especially beer from scratch, at home knows that there is more to it than mixing, fermenting and bottling.  There are steps that must be followed along the way.

It is still unclear whether the site will be responsible for racking the beer from primary to secondary fermenter, whether their will be the ability to create a beer wort from scratch on site, or if this will essentially be a full service enterprise where it really will be an “add the yeast and bottle” type process.

At present the government has indicated in their backgrounder that a number of exisiting businesses that sell kits have indicated their interest to provide this service.  They have also recognized the new business potential of such an endeavour.  The government has begun looking at best practices from other jurisdicitions and developing regulations and guidelines to be put in place.

The final regulations are expected to be in place by Spring of 2015 according to Minister Chomiak, at which point business will be able to apply for special authorization to allow on-site brewing.  The Minister did say that the business would need to also meet “federal and municipal regulations” and that it will be based on “training and inspection“.

What is certain is that this initiative opens the doors to a variety of business models where, perhaps, some enterprising home brewer might open a place where you can, with advice and materials, create your very own beer from scratch and learn the ins and outs of full scale home brewing.

-Beer Winnipeg

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