Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW)
After consulting with liquor and food service industry stakeholders, changes were made to provincial liquor laws and policies in 2003, to permit patrons to bring their own wine to participating restaurants, remove partially consumed wine from a restaurant, and to permit commercial catering companies to be licensed to serve/sell liquor at public and private events.
Class A, B and C (Club) licensees may request a licence endorsement from the AGLC to allow patrons to bring commercially manufactured, sealed bottle(s) of wine onto the licensed premises.
The following conditions apply:
- The licensee must post a schedule of corkage fees
- The patron must hand over the wine to licensee staff immediately upon entering the premises
- Licensee staff are responsible to bring the wine to the patron's table, and to open and serve the wine.
When requested, all licensees are obligated to recork partially consumed bottles to be taken home by the customer. (Liquor Licensee Handbook 5.3.15 b)
These amendments to the regulation also enable commercial caterers to apply for a liquor licence. By enabling accompanying liquor service, such licensed caterers may provide the consumer with a more complete and more professional service offering. This change to Alberta’s liquor laws gives consumers and the food services industry a new choice for liquor service while maintaining existing regulations that serve to ensure responsible sales and consumption of alcohol.
Restaurants or clubs may choose individually if they wish to allow patrons to bring their own wine – customers should call first to ask if these services are offered.
When a customer arrives in a restaurant or club, they should indicate to staff that they have their own wine and then turn it over to the staff for serving. Their wine is then served in the same manner as wine selected from the menu. Restaurants or clubs that choose this option are allowed to determine and charge a ‘corkage fee’ for this service. Homemade wine is not allowed.
Upon request, licensed premises are required to recork partially consumed bottles of wine, allowing patrons to take the remaining wine home with them. This helps ensure the responsible consumption of liquor, as customers do not feel compelled to finish a bottle of wine before leaving the restaurant. Existing rules for the transportation of liquor still apply; the recorked bottle cannot be within easy access to occupants of the vehicle.
Once again, Alberta is taking a progressive approach to consumer choice. For more information on BYOW, see: