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Lloydminster craft liquor to flow directly across the border divide

Craft beer can now flow easier across the border city line that separates two prairie provinces in Lloydminster.

Lloydminster’s Alberta-side craft liquor manufacturers are now able to directly deliver products to Saskatchewan-side retail stores as opposed to going Regina before returning to the Border City.

Brad Hoffman with 4th Meridian Brewing Company speaks about the new arrangement.

“We still have to get a special order from a Saskatchewan retailer – which is not a big deal; it usually takes about three-days to process. But the big difference is, it does not have to go to Regina to a central warehouse in Saskatchewan – to come right back to Lloydminster. We can now take it startight to a Saskatchewan liquor store directly.”

The Lloydminster-specific deal was struck following discussions with the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce, the city of Lloydminster and the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.

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The process will require a liquor retail store in Lloydminster to place an order through SLGA’s special order process. SLGA then issues a purchase order to the Alberta producer in Lloydminster. This clears the way to deliver the specified product in the purchase order directly to the Saskatchewan retailer.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers says red-tape reduction continues to be an area of emphasis in his discussions with leaders from other levels of government.

“This exception granted by SLGA represents an exciting breakthrough in our ongoing work to reduce barriers for small businesses operating in Lloydminster’s bi-provincial setting,” says Mayor Aalbers. “Part of our strategy to make Lloydminster an ever-more attractive target for business investment lies in making things easier for local businesses from a bureaucracy perspective wherever we are able.”

Hoffman, who has been operating the brewery since 2017, has five-flavours of craft beer which they will continue to market to clients like the Lloydminster Exhibition and restaurants that are on the Saskatchewan-side of the city.

“I think we are going to focus on Lloydminster mainly at first, and see where it goes from there. The city worked really hard and put probably six or eight months of work into this and finally got a great answer. So we are super pleased,” says Hoffman.

The city and the Lloydminster Chamber got confirmation of the SLGA decision on Oct. 17.

“We appreciate the government of Saskatchewan’s openness to developing this made-for-Lloydminster solution to a problem that has long vexed our local craft liquor manufacturers and retailers,” says Teri-Lynn Mackie, executive director of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce.

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