HomeSake in Alberta

Sake in Alberta

Alberta is bordered by British Columbia to the west, Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the U.S. state of Montana to the south. It is home to a variety of landscapes, from the towering Rocky Mountains in the west to the flat prairies in the east, and dense forests in the north to badlands in the south. Its climate varies but can be described as continental, with cold winters and warm summers.

Alberta's economy has traditionally been driven by its vast natural resources. It's a major producer of crude oil, natural gas, and minerals. The province's oil sands are one of the world's largest reserves of petroleum. Additionally, agriculture, especially grain farming and cattle ranching, plays a significant role. In recent years, there's been a growing emphasis on diversifying the economy with sectors like technology and renewable energy.

Edmonton, the capital, is known for its vibrant arts scene, large shopping mall (West Edmonton Mall), and numerous festivals. Calgary, the largest city, hosts the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo, and is a gateway to the Rocky Mountains.

Approx Population of Alberta


Approximate Population (2021)





Red Deer     




Grande Prairie



Alberta is a major tourist destination, especially for those interested in outdoor activities. Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Rocky Mountains are internationally recognized for their breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. The province’s history is showcased in various museums, historic sites, and cultural events.

Background of the Alberta liquor market

Alberta is unique compared to other provinces in Canada due to several reasons related to its history, regulation, distribution, and consumer preferences. Here are some of the key differences:

Privatization: Alberta is the only province in Canada that has fully privatized its retail liquor industry. This means that the sale of wine (and other alcoholic beverages) is primarily done through private retailers, as opposed to government-run liquor stores which are common in other provinces like British Columbia (BC Liquor Stores) and Ontario (LCBO). This privatization took place in the 1990s.

Selection and Availability: Due to privatization, Alberta has a wide range of stores with varying selections. This can lead to greater product variety, with retailers stocking unique products to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Pricing: In provinces with government-controlled liquor stores, the prices can be more standardized. In Alberta, however, retailers can set their own prices, which can lead to competitive pricing, discounts, and sales.

Distribution: Alberta also has a centralized distribution system. The Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) regulates the industry, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on wholesale. This allows for a broad range of products to enter the market and be available to retailers.

Regulations and Taxes: Every province in Canada has its own set of regulations and tax structures for alcoholic beverages. While Alberta’s privatized system allows for greater competition in the retail sector, it also means that the province relies heavily on taxes and levies from alcohol sales for revenue.

As AGLC is the legal importer of record for liquor in Alberta, manufacturers (or agencies that represent them ) sell liquor products to retailers through AGLC

Manufacturers (or the agencies that represent them ) of spirits, wine, coolers and imported/domestic beer ship their product to the privately operated central AGLC warehouse. This warehouse receives and stores product from over 70 countries.





Retailers purchase products from AGLC approved warehouses. All liquor products in the central warehouse can be found at Retailers may also purchase directly from Alberta manufacturers.Products are shipped to the retailer from the central AGLC warehouse, a domestic beer warehouse, or directly from an Alberta manufacturer’s facilities





Retailers sell these products to consumers. AGLC pays the designated payee (manufacturer or agency) for their products after the product is sold to a licensee. AGLC also collects the provincial liquor markup as well as any federal liquor taxes and levies.



Current Sake Market of Canada