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New rules bring brews to Steveston

O’Hare’s GastroPub became one of the first pubs in B.C. to welcome minors, after B.C.’s liquor regulator approved a licence amendment. That meant three generations were able to get together at the pub.  From left to right: founder Jack O’Hare, Collieson Bryan, Grant Bryan, Pippa Bryan, Erinn Bryan (Jack’s daughter, who runs O’Hares with husband Grant) and Jane O’Hare. - Bhreandáin Clugston
O’Hare’s GastroPub became one of the first pubs in B.C. to welcome minors, after B.C.’s liquor regulator approved a licence amendment. That meant three generations were able to get together at the pub. From left to right: founder Jack O’Hare, Collieson Bryan, Grant Bryan, Pippa Bryan, Erinn Bryan (Jack’s daughter, who runs O’Hares with husband Grant) and Jane O’Hare.
— image credit: Bhreandáin Clugston

A brewery will begin selling craft beer on the streets of Steveston Sunday—the first liquor producer to do so following the province’s relaxation of booze rules.

Delta-based Four Winds Brewing Co. will be sampling and selling its brews alongside the 70 to 80 other vendors at the Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market.

“It’s something that people have never seen at our market before, so it just adds another dimension to what we have to offer,” said Henry Pietraszek, market manager.

The province announced a batch of liquor policy changes on June 21, including allowing local liquor manufacturers at B.C.’s farmers markets. Producers can now apply directly to markets, and it’s up to organizers to decide which vintners, distillers and brewers are accepted.

Pietraszek said interest in the Steveston market from would-be vendors was immediate.

“The weekend that the change became official, applications started coming in.”

A few other applications are under review, said Pietraszek, adding the Steveston market will proceed slowly in introducing liquor vendors.

The B.C. government is planning a complete re-write of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act. That’s scheduled for spring 2015. In the meantime, the province is phasing in changes.

“Being able to pick up a bottle of local wine at your local farmers market is one of many balanced changes that support convenience and choice for consumers and economic growth for B.C.,” said B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton in a news release.

The open-air Steveston market runs on first and third Sundays through the summer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: July 6 and 20, Aug. 3 and 17, and Sept. 7 to 21.

A few entertainers, including the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra, will perform at Sunday’s market to complement the vendor experience, said Pietraszek.

“For me the market is all about the interaction between the vendors and the members of the public. That’s the energy that’s created—you can feel it when you’re walking there.”

Another significant change in B.C. liquor policy allows approved liquor-primary establishments—such as pubs and legions—to accommodate patrons under age 19.

Last Friday, O’Hare’s GastroPub, at 5031 Steveston Hwy., became one of the first pubs in B.C. to welcome minors, after B.C.’s liquor regulator approved a licence amendment.

Operator Grant Bryan called the change, “monumental.”

“This is, by far, the biggest change we have seen in our 27 years of operating O’Hare’s,” he told The Richmond Review.

Pubs with amended licences require minors to be accompanied by an adult, and stay no later than 10 p.m. Eligible establishments must also serve food.

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