Nova Scotia

NSLC attempt to end wine and beer store brewing delayed

The court case aimed at stopping the practice of making beer and wine at so-called U-Vint stores is delayed until later this month.
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation will be in court in Halifax on Jan. 11, seeking injunctions against three beer and wine kit stores. (Reuters/J.P. Moczulski)

A Halifax judge has adjourned an injunction hearing requested by the province's Crown liquor company which is trying to stop two businesses from producing wine and beer in their stores.

Three beer and wine kit stores were in a Halifax court Friday morning to fight an injunction from the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation seeking to put them out of business.

The liquor corporation is trying to shut down U-Vint operations that allow customers to ferment wine or brew beer on their premises.

The crown corporation is exercising new powers granted by the Dexter Government in 2011. They allow the NSLC to get a court order to stop violations of provincial liquor laws.

On Wednesday, three so called U-Vint operators received papers telling them they're breaking the law.

"They basically shut down our in-store winery," said Charles Patton, owner of Water 'N' Wine in New Glasgow.

The liquor corporation said it is merely enforcing existing laws that prevent the manufacturing of liquor.

The stakes are high for Water 'N' Wine employee Stella Fitzpatrick.

"I'm really stressed out. I'll probably be losing my job and so could another employee here," she said.

Patton said if they lose in court his business will shut down on Saturday.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Michael Wood set aside the hearing until Jan. 28 in order to give the stores in Halifax and New Glasgow time to get legal advice and review court documents.

The owners of Wine Kitz Halifax and Water 'n' Wine in New Glasgow said they are prepared to contest the injunction.

Another similar business in New Minas has decided to comply with the regulations pending the outcome of the upcoming hearing.


With files from the Canadian Press