The only craft beverage producer in the District of Sechelt is looking to change the way its tasting room operates.
The Bricker Cider Company opened at 6642 Norwest Bay Road in 2017.
Its original licence from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) was for a cidery and bottling facility on site as well as a “tasting licence and picnic endorsement,” which allows them to sell cider as five-ounce samples only.
Bricker currently has an application before the LCRB to upgrade to a “lounge endorsement,” which would allow them to serve cider by the full glass, as well as other products, except spirits. In a letter of intent submitted with the application, Bricker management said those other products would be “at most, two locally produced, guest beers.”
The new endorsement would also allow Bricker to expand the seating capacity from the current 26 indoor and 30 outdoor to 82, by adding 14 seats to an adjacent deck and 42 in a garden area.
The letter of intent also said becoming a lounge “will simplify the serving rules in our tasting room which have been the source of considerable confusion by our patrons... It is hoped that the endorsement will also support our business in the winter when it is impractical for people to sit outside in the picnic area.”
The company plans to stick with its 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. opening hours. “We want to state clearly that we have no desire to be a late night venue, and will not have any dance floors, films, karaoke or similar activities.”
Even with the changes, Bricker would still be within the size limit for tasting lounges at cideries and wineries operating in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
The only questions raised by council were about whether there have been any complaints since Bricker opened.
Director of planning Tracy Corbett said there was one complaint about odour during a special event, “but in terms of the regular operations, nothing – and surprisingly nothing about parking, which is usually what we hear about.”
Corbett also said parking arrangements will be part of the LCRB review process. “It’s very tight in terms of the shoulder so [on-street parking] is not something we would permit.”
Council voted to send the application out for public input, which it will review before voting on whether to support the changes. Final approval of the Bricker application will be up to the LCRB.