Types of liquor licences
All Alberta liquor manufacturers need a Class E licence. In addition, some manufacturers require a Class A or Class D licence, depending on the intended use(s) of their products.
For information about all types of liquor licences (not just for manufacturers), see AGLC Liquor licences.
Class E licences
Required for all Alberta liquor manufacturers. Class E licences are for distillers, vintners or brewers that have a permanent facility. This facility cannot be a residence (such as a garage, basement or shed).
For more details, see Class E licences.
Class A licences
You need a Class A licence if you plan to serve your products at your manufacturing facility. Four types of Class A licences are available to manufacturers:
- Taproom (Community Hub)
- Manufacturer Lounge
- Minors Allowed
- Minors Prohibited
For more details, see Class A licences.
Class D licences
You need a Class D Manufacturer's Off-Sales licence if you plan to sell your products directly to the public, to be consumed off of your premises. For example, if you want to fill and sell growlers from your taproom or sell at farmers markets.
For more details, see Class D licences.
Apply for your licences
Tip: Contact your municipality before you apply for licences with AGLC. You need to be sure that municipal zoning and bylaws will allow for business at the proposed location.
You can apply for all of your licences at the same time. If you do this:
- you pay only one application fee for all of your licences
- you still have to pay the licence fee for each licence
What to expect
AGLC will work with you to process your application as fast as possible, Typically, the end-to-end process takes one to three months, depending on how fast your local municipality provides needed approval documents to open your business.
There are five general steps to getting licensed with AGLC:
- Preliminary assessment (optional)
- Initial application and documents
- Advertising the application
- Final documents
- Final inspection
We describe these steps briefly below. More details and the forms you will need are on AGLC Liquor website:
Step 1: Preliminary assessment (optional)
We recommend you meet with an AGLC staff member to discuss the licensing process and get you started in the right direction. This meeting can take place over the phone or in person.
While this step is not required, it is highly recommended as it can save you a lot of time and effort later on.
To start an assessment, get in touch with AGLC office in your area.
Step 2: Initial application and documents
For the initial application, you must provide:
- completed application forms for your liquor licences
- details about you
- details about your proposed distribution, products and packaging (that is, you should have a developed business plan)
- your proposed location, including a signed offer to lease, a floor plan and equipment details
- the $200 application fee. If you apply for more than one licence at the same time, you need only one application fee
- confirmation that you have applied for a federal Excise Licence
- a Criminal Record Check, no more than 90 days old, for all directors, shareholders and managers
Step 3: Advertising the application
AGLC will post your application on AGLC website for 7 days. This gives affected third parties an opportunity to object to your application. For example, a neighbour might be concerned about your proposed location.
- If there is no objection after 7 days, you can continue to the next step
- If there are objections, you must apply to AGLC Board for a hearing before you can continue. An AGLC Inspector will inform you of your next steps, we recommend you respond to objections as soon as possible
Step 4: Final documents
To finish the application process, you will need to provide:
- a licence fee of $500 in addition to your original $200 application fee
- forms about your company, including your Certificate of Incorporation
- a signed and witnessed Acknowledgement and Undertaking regarding your legal responsibilities as a liquor manufacturer
- a signed copy of your lease agreement or certificate of title (this must be in your name)
- fire approval for the manufacturing premises and related areas
- a city business licence or written approval of the municipality
- a Federal Excise licence
Step 5: Final inspection
When your application is complete and your site is fully functional, an AGLC Inspector will contact you to schedule the final inspection and approval. You cannot start production until after your final inspection. The inspection usually takes 30-45 minutes.
After your approved inspection, the Inspector will:
- discuss the terms and conditions of your licences with you
- typically issue an interim licence at the final inspection, with a licence certificate to be sent later
After you're licensed
You can start production as soon as you're licensed. However, before you can start selling your products, you must set up your business with AGLC's systems. For more details, see AGLC system setup.