07/09/2013 10:50 EDT | Updated 09/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver eyes zoning rules changes for craft brewers

Vancouver city council is expected to loosen zoning rules to allow small breweries to serve beer onsite in designated lounges.

Right now, breweries are allowed to sell unlimited take-away, but only a single draught on site. The new lounges would allow breweries to sell more than one beer to customers.

"For breweries in Vancouver to have a small amount of on-site sales, it's also going to make a go of running a brewery in a city like Vancouver where, man, it's expensive and competition is a little fierce," said Conrad Gmoser, co-owner and head brewer at Brassneck Brewery set to open near Main Street and 6th Avenue in a few weeks.

"If you think of other beer cities, that people who love beer are really interested in, going to the brewery is a big part of it.”

Josh Michnik, co-owner of 33 Acres Brewery, welcomes the proposed rule change.

"Craft brewers, we're just small businesses,” he said. “These lounges will just help us afford to pay our rent.”

Even if the city changes the zoning rules, breweries will still need provincial approval.

The idea is up for debate at a public forum at City Hall tonight.