Liquor Laws in Alberta

When creating offers or doing quality checks for partners primarily in the ‘Food + Drink’ loop, it is important to align the offers to Alberta Liquor Laws. All liquor advertising must comply with:

  1. Liquor Legislation & Policies [https://aglc.ca/liquor/liquor-legislation-and-policies}; and

  2. the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages [http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/television/publicit/codesalco.htm].

Signs and advertisements cannot:

  • Encourage people to drink liquor or to drink irresponsibly (ads that mention price must take this into account; if a licensee's price advertising encourages or results in patrons drinking to excess, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch can prevent the licensee from including liquor prices in future advertising)

  • Show people who are drinking liquor, are intoxicated or are behaving irresponsibly or illegally

  • Associate liquor with driving

  • Be directed at minors or placed in locations used or visited mostly by minors, such as video arcades and playgrounds

  • Depict liquor as a necessity, a key to social acceptance or personal success, central to the enjoyment of an activity, or as a status symbol

In addition:

  • Ads for bars and winery lounges cannot use pictures of minors (anyone under the age of 18) or of personalities, images or activities that may appeal to minors

  • Ads for bars, winery lounges and restaurants cannot show people with liquor unless there is also food in front of them

  • Ads for restaurants must make clear that serving food is the restaurant's primary purpose

  • Ads for companies that make beer, wine or spirits cannot be shown on a theatre screen before a movie with a young target audience

Happy Hour

“Happy Hour” refers to periods of time where a licensed premise:

a) reduces the regular price of liquor posted in the liquor menu, or

b) offers specific brands or types of liquor at reduced prices.

“Happy hour" must end by 8 p.m.

"Happy hour" pricing must not be below the minimum prices specified below. A licensee is not allowed to offer:

  1. Free liquor specials;

  2. More than one (1) drink for a single price (e.g., “2 for 1” specials, or “triples for the price of a single”);

  3. “All you can drink" specials for a fixed cost.

Minimum Price Per Drink

Draught beer or cider if the serving is less than 50 oz.: $0.16 / 28.5 ml (1 oz)

Bottles or cans of beer, cider or coolers: $2.75 /341 ml bottle or 355 ml can

Wine: $0.35 / 28.5 ml (1 oz))

Spirits and Liqueurs: $2.75 / 28.5 ml (1 oz) or less*

*If a serving of spirits or liqueurs exceeds 28.5 ml, the minimum price of the drink must be based on the single serving menu price and increase in direct proportion to the volume served based on the minimum price of $2.75.

For example, if a single serve drink has a menu price of $5.00, the following minimum prices apply to similar drinks containing more than 28.5 ml of spirits or liqueurs:

  1. Drinks containing 43 ml (1.5 oz) of spirits or liqueurs – the minimum price required is $6.37 ($5.00 + $1.37);

  2. Drinks containing 57 ml (2 oz) of spirits or liqueurs – the minimum price required is $7.75 ($5.00 + $2.75); and

  3. Drinks containing 85.5 ml (3 oz) of spirits or liqueurs – the minimum price required is $10.50 ($5.00 + $2.75 + $2.75)