Nova Scotia

NSLC turfs rule outlawing breweries from serving samples over 4 ounces

As of July 1, Nova Scotia breweries will no longer be restricted to serving samples of their products in four-ounces glasses, a rule that brought excessive glass washing and ridicule from customers.

'It's a massive step up for all the breweries in the province,' says Big Spruce Brewing's Jeremy White

The regulation that dictates tasting rooms only serve beer samples in a glass that's a maximum of four ounces will be turfed on July 1. (Rebecca Pate)

Some Nova Scotia craft brewers will be raising a glass on Canada Day, but not for the reason you might expect.

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. announced starting July 1, it is dropping restrictions on the size of beers that can be poured in the tasting rooms of breweries.

Previously, the breweries were only permitted to pour beer samples in four-ounce glasses although there was no limit to the number of glasses they could serve to customers.

Jeremy White, founder and alesmith at Big Spruce Brewing in Nyanza, Cape Breton, said the change is overdue and will have a huge impact.

"I really feel that it illustrates a trust and commitment from government to step outside their comfort zone and let new ideas flourish and it's a massive step up for all the breweries in the province," he said.

The change will also mean that breweries holding hospitality room licences will now be subject to visits from inspectors from the province's Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco division.

Under the change, tasting rooms run by craft breweries will be able to serve beer in any size glass they want. (Richard Woodbury/CBC)

White said the previous requirement resulted in a lot of dishwashing as well as disbelief from visitors who couldn't understand why a rule like that existed.

While hospitality licence holders could have applied for a beverage room licence to be able to serve beer in larger glasses, the latter licence created additional oversight that didn't work for some breweries.

Jeremy White, owner and alesmith of Big Spruce Brewing, says he is thrilled with the change. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

"I have two kids that run around my business every single day of my life and a beverage room licence would have prohibited them from walking into the sales room area or being on our patio and enjoying their lunch with me, so it wasn't going to work for us," said White.

The four-ounce glass limit will continue to apply at off-site events.

In recent years, Nova Scotia's craft beer industry has exploded in popularity, with 40 or so breweries operating across the province.