Saskatchewan

More growlers among Sask. beer changes being studied

More growlers and direct shipping of craft booze to retailers are among several changes the Saskatchewan government is considering.

Craft beer and liquor industry could see various changes

A two-litre (64-ounce) growler. (CBC)

They're called growlers — big, two-litre, refillable beer containers.

Beer lovers have to go to a brewery or a brewpub for a fill-up.

But someday soon, people may be able to go into their favourite bar or restaurant for the bulk purchase.

Having more places fill growlers is one of a number of liquor changes the province is considering to boost the craft beer and craft liquor industries.

The government announced Wednesday it will conduct a study that will look at the growler question, plus several other issues, including the mark-up on craft alcohol, production thresholds and the direct shipping of craft alcohol to retailers.

"Saskatchewan’s craft alcohol industry has undergone tremendous growth in recent years,” Don McMorris, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), said in a news release.

"We want to be sure SLGA’s policies are supportive of industry while also balancing the concerns of other stakeholders and the provincial treasury."

According to the government, Saskatchewan’s craft liquor industry is made up of five microbreweries, six cottage wineries and four microdistilleries. 

There are also about 35 brewpubs that make small volumes of beer.

The proposed changes come on the heels of a flurry of liquor regulation changes in the past year.

The province has made stripping and wet t-shirt contests legal in bars, things which had been banned for many years. It also made it legal to take home half-finished bottles of wine from restaurants.

The government has also launched a study into whether there should be more private liquor stores, or even an Alberta-style widespread privatization of dozens of government-owned stores.

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