Credits: REUTERS/STEFAN WERMUTH
The BC Craft Brewers Guild said it is concerned about increases in liquor costs - which would inevitably be passed on to consumers - and also angry that it has not been involved in any consultation with the Liberals.
The provincial-owned Liquor Distribution Branch has two warehouses - in Burnaby and Kamloops - that are staffed by 400 members of the BC Government Employees' Union.
The Christy Clark government wants the properties sold by 2015.
Guild chairman Tod Melnyk said the sell-off would have similar consequences to the privatization of Alberta liquor distribution in 1993.
"The potential increase in pricing which will impact consumer spending ... and therefore directly impact production in BC is also of utmost concern," he said.
Melnyk suggested the government was "rushing this through" without any regard for small business.
"The guild cannot support privatization of the B.C. liquor warehouse when this initiative is creating a private monopoly," he said.
"We have spoken with industry constituents that will be directly impacted and they have provided overwhelming support to stop this initiative."
After the budget was handed down in February, the Ministry of Energy and Mines - which oversees liquor distribution in BC - said the government would "realize a long-term capital gain, and create an opportunity for the private sector to find more efficient ways to distribute liquor."
So far, eight companies have responded to the government's request-for-proposal process, with the bidding deadline set for June 29.
Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman could not be reached for comment.