Microbrewery headed to St. Albert faces regulatory hurdles
Edmonton brewery forced to relocate after high rent
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 06:00 am
A well-known Edmonton microbrewery planning a move to St. Albert might face roadblocks by Alberta’s regulating body.
Amber’s Brewing Company is set to relocate from its south Edmonton location to the site of Spider Beverage Co. Inc. at 16 Rayborn Cres., said founder Jim Gibbon, although the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) has yet to receive the required documentation.
“We’ll happily be moving into a shared facility with them as soon as possible,” Gibbon said. “We’re in the process of moving right now.”
Brian Molloy, president of Spider Beverage Co. confirmed at the beginning of the month that a microbrewery would likely set up in St. Albert, but would not share further details.
“We kind of enjoy the mystery for now, but we also don’t want to be big talkers and small deliverers,” he said. “We like to talk small and deliver big.”
He said nothing has been finalized and added that by next week, the deal could potentially fall apart. He said the AGLC needs to be informed before progress can be made.
“There’s no permits, there’s no signed agreements, there’s no nothing,” he said.
Dadjana Laskovic, spokesperson with AGLC, said no information has been provided proposing a brewery in St. Albert.
In order for Amber’s Brewing Company to relocate, an application must be submitted for a class E license, which enables liquor manufacturers to produce, she said.
“When we get that information, it will be posted on our website for 21 days for any objections to the application,” she said.
If there are no objections and the AGLC receives all the paperwork it needs to receive from the applicant, then it would go to the board for approval,” she said.
Although Amber’s Brewing Company is licensed at its Edmonton facility, a new license must be obtained. Manufacturers are prohibited from operating until the board grants approval of the application, Laskovic said.
After five years at its current location, Amber’s Brewing Company was forced to find a new home after the landlord upped rent at a “ridiculous” rate in June, Gibbon said.
Although papers have not been signed yet, Gibbon said the brewery should be up and running from the St. Albert location within the month. Papers are expected to be signed next week.
“We hope it will make it a lot easier to do business with a shared facility, shared costs,” he said. “It shouldn’t [interrupt supply] – we’re doing a giant bottle run this week, so hopefully we’ll be covered until production moves [to St. Albert].”
The City of St. Albert issued a building permit in April for Spider Brewery, citing occupancy and interior alterations as the purpose.
If all goes as planned, the two businesses will share the Riel Business Park location where Spider Beverage has been for the last four years.
“We are a very well-established, very large liquor agency at Spider and this is a project that we’re involved with, not financially, but from a sales side of things,” Molloy said. “We’ve obviously been overseeing the project and making sure it takes shape.”
Spider Beverage is a liquor distributor that sells products from around the world.