Paul, Mavis and Frank Kirton stand in front of fermenting wine at The Fine Vine in north Red Deer Thursday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer business helping people make own wine, beer

The Fine Vine received its ferment on premise licence Dec. 4

Central Albertans who want to make their own wine or beer, but can’t at home, now have a place to do it.

Paul Kirton, owner/manager of The Fine Vine, said he’s been waiting years for customers to be able to ferment wine, beer or cider on site.

The Red Deer business received its ferment on premise licence from the Alberta government Dec. 4. It was the first permit in central Alberta, and until recently, Albertans couldn’t make alcohol for their own consumption in licensed retail locations.

“It’s absolutely huge for us because it’s an add-on to our current business. We’ve always been a retail store and have been selling kits. We still will do that, but … now we can make it for people who aren’t able to,” said Kirton.

There is an additional fee to make alcohol on site.

Kirton said there are various reasons people can’t make their own product at home; an individual could be away from home too often, they could live in too small a space, or they may be physically unable to do the manual labour involved.

The Fine Vine, which has been open 21 years, has had two customers with disabilities make wine in the store so far.

“One lady was almost in tears of happiness when she bottled her wine the other day,” said Kirton. “She’d done it in B.C. before, but she’s lived in Alberta for the past 10 years. She walks with a cane, she can’t do the necessary lifting and that kind of thing.”

Ferment on premise operations provide customers with the ingredients, equipment and advice they need to make alcoholic beverages like wine, according to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

“We’ve joined various lobby groups over the years,” said Kirton. “Every time there has been a change in government, we took a run at it. We’ve been denied a lot in the past … but now they were very open to making the policy changes this time.”

Businesses in most provinces, including British Columbia and Saskatchewan, are able to get such licences. Kirton said this was causing Alberta businesses to lose potential revenue.

“We’re close enough to surrounding provinces … so people were going out of province to do it while on vacation,” he said.

The Fine Vine, previously located in south Red Deer, moved to a larger building in the north side of the city in 2017 to accommodate a future change in law.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer would be the site of potential TV show

A potential TV show aims to bring Red Deer kids across the… Continue reading

Oilsands firms considering diluent recovery units to boost crude-by-rail volumes

CALGARY — Ongoing pipeline project delays and growth in crude-by-rail capacity from… Continue reading

Ex-Eskimos CEO gets new job among flurry of Alberta government appointments

Ex-Eskimos CEO gets job among flurry of appointments EDMONTON — Len Rhodes,… Continue reading

WATCH: ‘Lots to see and do’ at Pioneer Days in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Alberta suspects lead Mounties on chase before their capture in Camrose

CAMROSE, Alta. — Mounties from the Wetaskiwin, Alta., detachment had their hands… Continue reading

Man dies in hospital after aggravated assault in Winnipeg, police say

Winnipeg police say a man is dead after he was allegedly assaulted… Continue reading

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

MONTREAL — More than seven years after Raif Badawi was thrown in… Continue reading

Islamic State claims bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63

KABUL — The suicide bomber stood in the middle of the dancing,… Continue reading

Hundreds of thousands turn out for peaceful HK protest

Hong Kong streets were turned into rivers of umbrellas on Sunday as… Continue reading

Red Deer Braves knock off undefeated Saskatoon Cubs at 18U AAA Westerns

Braves lefty Reese DeRuyter throws a complete game, one-hitter in the victory

Two men seriously injured after small plane crashes in Alberta field

BLACK DIAMOND, Alta. — Two people were injured in a plane crash… Continue reading

Most Read