Less red tape, more red ale: Change could make it easier for microbreweries to sell wares downtown

Winnipeg is about to make it easier for craft brewers to sell their wares downtown.​

Downtown zoning change would allow Winnipeg craft brewers to set up retail stores without restaurants or bars

Microbreweries who wish to set up shop in downtown Winnipeg will soon be able to sell their own beer without operating a restaurant, such as this one at PEG Beer Co. (@pegbeerco/Instagram)

Winnipeg may soon make it easier for craft brewers to sell their wares downtown.​

City council's property committee has approved a package of downtown zoning changes that will allow microbreweries to set up retail stores on their premises, without also having a restaurant or bar on site.

"A microbrewery associated with a small craft beer store would have no greater impacts than a restaurant or drinking establishment, both of which are already permitted downtown," Winnipeg principal planner Kurtis Kowalke wrote in a report to council.

Right now, small breweries can't sell their own beer downtown unless a restaurant or bar operates on the property. Pending council approval, microbreweries will be able to open up a store that sells their own product without operating a restaurant or bar.

The change is intended to remove red tape, Kowalke said in his report.

"Microbreweries are only allowed to produce enough volume for on-site consumption and sales. This ensures that the scale of the brewing facilities does not dominate the more active uses associated with it."

The change still faces council approval later this month.