courts

Unfiltered Brewing loses appeal in fee fight with province

Court awards attorney general $1,000

The province can still charge Unfiltered Brewing to sell its own beer, despite the Halifax brewer’s attempt to stop it.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal rejected Unfiltered’s arguments and upheld a previous court decision in favour of the attorney general and NSLC. The brewery was ordered to pay $1,000 to the attorney general.

The decision was released Wednesday.

Unfiltered Brewing received a permit to sell alcohol in 2015, but claimed it shouldn’t have to give 50 cents to the NSLC for every litre of beer it sold or gave away. It took the NSLC to court in 2016, arguing the liquor corporation illegally wrote a markup tax.

In January 2018, Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled the charges were within legal regulations and were not an illegal tax.

Afterwards, Unfiltered turned to the Court of Appeal. In November, the brewery argued that Justice Glen McDougall erred in his ruling.

In dismissing the appeal, the Court of Appeal cited sections of the Liquor Control Act, which state the NSLC has control over the sale of liquor and that liquor sold outside of the corporation is deemed to have first been purchased from the NSLC. The corporation also controls the prices of liquor sold outside of the NSLC.

Andrew Murphy, a partner in Unfiltered Brewing, declined to comment.