Depending on time of publish, certain information may be outdated. Always contact your local liquor governing authority for the most recent regulations in your region.
Welcome to the second instalment in the Canadian Homebrewers Association’s look into the different Liquor Acts and Regulationsterritories and provinces and how they could effect you. As you may have noticed from any map of Canada you have seen in your lifetime, the territories take up 39.3% of the land mass of Canada. Despite the vast size of the region, homebrew specific laws are very limited. In this instalment, we will be talking a look at these three territories, so grab a homebrew and let’s dive in.
The first regulation that we run into is one that we are going to see in every province or territory in one form or another. Plain and simple, you cannot sell your beautiful elixir.
Liquor regulations are more directed towards the licenses that you can obtain to serve/sell/distribute and manufacture liquor.
Continuing on through regulations, we run into the most notable one of the bunch in my opinion-Reception Permits. This permit allows you to serve your homebrew at a reception. There is no definition of what a “reception” is in the Yukon Liquor Act or Regulations, but my buddy Google says it’s “a formal social occasion held to welcome someone or to celebrate a particular event.” If we went off that definition, I am sure we could make it work for just about any kind of reception you are trying to throw.
Subsection 38(15) of the Yukon Liquor Regulations:
A HOLDER OF A RECEPTION PERMIT MAY SERVE HOMEMADE WINE OR HOMEMADE BEER AT THE RECEPTION SUBJECT TO ANY TERMS OR CONDITIONS THE PRESIDENT CONSIDERS APPROPRIATE AND THAT ARE INCLUDED IN THE PERMIT.
Yukon Liquor Act
The Yukon Liquor Act has a fair bit of info about licenses and is the guideline for liquor control and enforcement. The first point that I want to touch on relates to the “Reception Permit Regulation” we just touched on. It is another prime example of the fact that we can not sell our homebrew.
Subsection 53 (3.1b & 4) of the Yukon Liquor Act:
HOME MADE WINE OR HOME MADE BEER POSSESSED BY THE HOLDER OF THE PERMIT UNDER SUBSECTION 88(2)
(4) NO PERSON MAY SELL LIQUOR AT A RECEPTION NOR MAKE ANY CHARGE FOR ADMISSION TO THE RECEPTION.
The next section we run into in the Yukon Liquor Act is one that talks the legal age one can possess homebrew.
Subsection 88 (2) of the Yukon Liquor Act:
A PERSON WHO IS 19 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER MAY, SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS, HAVE OR KEEP IN THEIR POSSESSION HOME MADE BEER OR HOME MADE WINE THAT THEY HAVE MADE OR RECEIVED AS A GIFT.
The last thing of note to homebrewers in the Act, is that the Liquor Commission is the authority responsible for making or changing any rules pertaining to homebrewing in this territory.
Subsection 119 (1) of the Yukon Liquor Act:
COMMISSIONER IN EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MAY MAKE ANY REGULATIONS OR ORDERS CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES AND PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.
(2) WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF SUBSECTION (1), THE COMMISSIONER IN EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MAY MAKE REGULATIONS.(F) RESPECTING THE MAKING OR POSSESSION OF HOME MADE BEER OR HOME MADE WINE
Now we move on the liquor regulations of my home, the Northwest Territories. The only part of the regulations that speaks directly to making home made beer or wine is in Subsection 54, which also directs you to sections 38,40, and 42 of the NWT Liquor Act, which states that homebrewing is legal.
Subsection 68 of the Northwest Territories Liquor Act:
68. AN ELIGIBLE PERSON MAY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS, MAKE BEER OR WINE AND POSSESS AND TRANSPORT IT FOR PERSONAL CONSUMPTION.
Subsection 54 of the Northwest Territories Liquor Regulations:
54(1) AN ELIGIBLE PERSON WHO MAKES BEER OR WINE FOR PERSONAL CONSUMPTION SHALL DO SO ONLY AT A DWELLING-HOUSE.
(2) FOR GREATER CERTAINTY, SECTIONS 38, 40 AND 42 OF THE ACT AND SECTION 119 OF THESE REGULATIONS APPLY TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOMEMADE BEER OR WINE.
One particular part of the regulation that is talked about in the Northwest Territories, but not in the other two territories are the regulations that talk about holding a homebrew competition. Section 91 and 95 outlines the guidelines for a special events permit that can be obtained for a homebrew competition. Personally, I find this very interesting as a homebrewer in NWT as I have found no history of a homebrew competition taking place here. But it’s heartening to know that if someone did want to run a homebrew competition in NWT, there is the proper framework for it.
Subsections 91 and 95(3) of the Northwest Territories Liquor Regulations:
91. (1) THE HOLDER OF A SPECIAL OCCASION PERMIT MAY CONDUCT A COMPETITION TO JUDGE HOMEMADE BEER OR WINE.
(2) THE PERMIT HOLDER CONDUCTING THE COMPETITION MAY DISPLAY THE BEER OR WINE TO THOSE ATTENDING THE EVENT, BUT SHALL ENSURE THAT(A) ONLY THE JUDGES OF THE COMPETITION CONSUME THE BEER OR WINE; AND(B) THE JUDGES CONSUME ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES OF JUDGING THE BEER OR WINE.
95. (3) NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION 94, IN THE CASE OF A COMPETITION TO JUDGE HOMEMADE BEER OR WINE, THE MAKERS OF THE WINE OR BEER MAY REMOVE THEIR SURPLUS WINE OR BEER TO THEIR DWELLING-HOUSES.
Nunavut is the newest addition to this great nation and they only have one act that pertains to homebrewing, which is the “Wine Makers” permit, that is discussed in section 105. The Nunavut Liquor Act was based off the Northwest Territories Liquor Act from 1992. Shortly after this time, the Northwest Territories removed this completely from their Act, but Nunavut still enforces this regulation. Which the form is pretty easy to fill out and is located on page 47 of the Liquor Act, I have yet to hear from anyone who has actually received one, or if it is needed to make beer/cider as well. I cannot see any where it limits the amount you can produce under this license.
Subsection 105 of the Nunavut Liqour Act
1) A WINE PERMIT AUTHORIZES THE PERMIT HOLDER TO MAKE WINE IN HIS OR HER RESIDENCE FOR CONSUMPTION IN THE RESIDENCE OF THE PERMIT HOLDER BY THE PERMIT HOLDER, HIS OR HER FAMILY AND A GUEST WHO IS PERMITTED TO CONSUME LIQUOR UNDER THE ACT AND THESE REGULATIONS.
(2) A WINE PERMIT SHALL EXPIRE THREE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF ISSUE.”
Legislature usually only changes when someone decides that it needs to change. If you are from the Territories and see something on here that you want to add or change, I would love to hear from you and discuss the possible changes you would like to see. Also I am not a lawyer, just a person with a passion for the hobby, so please don’t take any of this as legal advise!
Hopefully you all find this information to be helpful in one way or another. Keep the Boil Rolling!
Shawn P. Brennan
Canadian Homebrewers Association
Shawn Paul Brennan is the Northern regional rep and is a born and raised Northerner from Yellowknife, NWT. He started homebrewing in 2014 with very basic extract kits, then moving to brew in a bag, and on to a 3 vessel electric brewery setup. He also brew ciders, meads, and a variety of different kinds of wines. Contact him at email@example.com.