Sobey's Liquor Store Grand Opening.

Dan Stadnyk testing out the Enomatic Scotch dispenser

Dan Stadnyk testing out the Enomatic Scotch dispenser

Nick Murray

Sobey's Liquor Store is now officially open in Moose Jaw. It was the first business to pop up in the new plaza built on the grounds of the old Civic Centre,  across from The Great Western Brewhouse and Starbucks.

Sobey's capitalized on the province's decision to allow privatized liquor outlets by building liquor stores all around the Saskatchewan. They had stores in Regina and Saskatoon, and have since been hard at work adding locations in North Battleford, Emerald Park/White City, Kindersley, Melville, Tisdale, Yorkton and now, right here in Moose Jaw.

It's official launch date was March 22.

Adding and featuring local brewers, distilleries and meaderies is something Sobey's felt was important.

"we do believe in promoting local products and highlighting them in various areas around the store," Clayton Filkohazy, the External Communications Specialist for Sobey's Inc said. "It's got a 1,500 square foot beer cooler that features many local breweries, as well".

Their weekly flyer even includes a "Choose Local" section that features products from Rebellion Brewery, Black Bridge Brewery, Paddock Wood, Churchill, Last Mountain Distillery, Black Fox, Sperling Silver and Lucky Bastard.

The store has added some innovative touches that are still relatively uncommon in the Prairies.
"We've got a 16 tap growler bar featuring all local Saskatchewan products" Filkohazy said.
Growlers, for those who don't know, are jugs used to transport freshly poured draft beer. The jugs typically hold 66.6 imperial fluid ounces of beer, but can be found in other sizes, as well. With the recent boom of micro-breweries and brew pubs, they've become a more popular option for selling take-out craft beer.

"They've gotten a lot more popular, I can think of at least one growler themed bar I know of in Calgary," Filkohazy said, adding. "We recently put a store in in Battleford and noticed they have one there as well."

For grand opening week, Sobey's is offering a free growler bottle with the first purchase of a 1L or 2L fill.

Growlers aren't just an enjoyable experience for responsible drinkers partaking in a glass of beer or two; they are also quite fun for the employees whose jobs it is to fill them. Sean Isbister, an employee at Sobey's Liquor in Moose Jaw said "honestly, I can't believe I get paid to do this."
When asked about the most popular brands, Sean pointed to Crossmount Winter Spice, "It's a cider," he said, "but for beer it's the Rebellion lentil; we've actually had to change a few kegs already."

Sean Isbister filling a jug at Sobey's 16 tap growler bar

Sean Isbister filling a jug at Sobey's 16 tap growler bar

Another innovative touch are the Enomatic tasting bars for wine and whiskey. Enomatic was designed as an intuitive method to serve and preserve wine.

"It's an electronic dispenser," Filkohazy said. "We have a 16 part wine, 8 part scotch Enomatic carrying a variety of different flavours."

At the time of opening, Sobey's Liquor employed between 30-35 people.

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