Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Responsible for Housing

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.