About a month ago I wrote about the discussions being held by provincial politicians looking at possibly changing liquor laws to allow for a Bring Your Own Bottle-style program in BC restaurants.
In that post I pointed out that most of the focus was on including wine only to be allowed to be brought by patrons to participating restaurants and I have since had confirmed that the BC craft beer industry is once again being given no support by the Provincial Government while the wine industry is getting preferential treatment.
But this latest snub of the craft beer industry has a lot to do with the fact that the craft beer industry and the craft beer consumers of BC are just not as organized as their counterparts in the wine world.
NDP MLA and critic for the LCLB/LDB, Shane Simpson brought up the subject in the BC Legislature, prompted in part by discussions and email communications with CAMRA Vancouver who are pressing to have beer included in any BYOB discussions. When asked directly by Mr Simpson if beer, particularly craft beer, is being considered as a part of any future law reforms in regards to BYOB, Liberal Cabinet Minister Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for the LCLB/LDB, replied, "No. We (Liberal Government) have not even had any overtures from restaurants or bars in BC, with regards to that."
So, a combination of a lack of organization and desire to lobby on their own behalf by the Craft Brewers Guild combined with a lack of respect for the BC craft beer industry from the Provincial Government has once again placed beer lovers in this province in the role of second fiddle.
Those involved in and who support the craft beer industry and those who love craft beer need to get active and need to do it quickly. Check out what the wine folks have been doing to make sure the government knows they are interested in BYOB. Sign the CAMRA Vancouver petition to show your support for craft beer and BYOB. Tweet Rich Coleman @colemancountry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact LCLB General Manager, Karen Ayers at Karen.Ayers@gov.bc.ca to let them know we want craft beer included in BYOB talks.
If not, we craft beer drinkers are soon going to be crying into our pints about how the government has once again short-poured the craft beer community in BC while local wine lovers are busy enjoying their favourite BYOB wine while out enjoying a meal.