Ministry of Justice

Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB)

Liquor Retail Stores

Within British Columbia, there are several different types of private liquor retail stores:

Licensee Retail Stores

These outlets are often referred to as private liquor stores or cold beer and wine stores. 

Licensee retail stores may sell beer, wine, coolers, cider, and a full range of spirits.

They may sell liquor any time between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., and may also sell packaged snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, B.C. Lottery products, and liquor-related items, such as glasses, bottle openers and corkscrews. Minors are allowed in licensee retail stores, if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Existing licensees can apply to move their store to a different location. (See Making Changes to My Licence).

Due to a government imposed moratorium on new licensee retail stores until July 1, 2022, we are not accepting applications for new licensee retail stores at this time and not creating a waiting list of people interested in applying

Wine Stores

These include stores associated with a particular winery or group of wineries, independent wine stores, Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wine stores and tourist wine stores. They operate as a separate retail store and are not located at a winery.

To operate a wine store, you must have a licence issued by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. You may apply to move your store to a different location. (See Wine Store Licence - Transfer of Location (LCLB092B)).

We are not accepting applications for new wine stores at this time

Manufacturer On-site Retail Stores

These are stores that are on the same site as a winery, brewery or distillery that sell products made at that manufacturing facility. (See Applying for a manufacturer on-site retail store).

Rural Agency Stores

These are stores in rural communities where it is too small to warrant the establishment of a government liquor store. For more information on the Rural Agency Store Program, please see the Liquor Distribution Branch.