Documentary on the $40,000 whiskey seizure in British Columbia

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When UBC film student Kyu Park heard about the seizure of $40,000 bottles of whiskey from a Vancouver restaurant, he knew he had a great idea for a documentary.

A South Korean whiskey lover and UBC film student combined his passions to make a film about a Vancouver restaurant that seized $40,000 worth of alcohol in 2018.

Kyu Park grew up drinking soju, a colorless Korean drink. But when he moved to Canada a few years ago, he decided to have the whiskeys tasted.

“I started collecting whiskey,” he said.

He began to learn about the history of Canadian whiskeys, including the role Canada played in supplying alcohol to the United States during the Prohibition era in the 1920s and 30s.

“Lo and behold, I found a new Prohibition type case in Vancouver,” he said.

This case stems from detectives, accompanied by police, who raided the Fets Whiskey Bar in Vancouver on January 18, 2018. They brought in a U-Haul van and spent five hours going through bottles of whiskey before transporting them in front of customers.

The operation was codenamed Operation Malt Barley.

Restaurant owners Eric and Allura Fergie have maintained that the Liquor and Cannabis Regulatory Branch (LCRB) prejudged their situation and refused to hand over documents so the couple could fight foreclosures, a petition has said. to the court.

The following June, the branch fined the company $3,000.

The Fergies requested a reconsideration but were denied the documents needed to fight the case. Asked to use the access to information system to obtain documents, they received heavily redacted documents.

In response, the couple applied to court for judicial review seeking an order quashing the reconsideration decision and staying the proceedings.

On March 14, a judge ruled that the couple had been denied procedural fairness and ordered the LCRB to turn over records relating to the seizure of 242 bottles of Scotch whiskey.

Park was intrigued. “I decided to make a movie out of it.”

As a result, he interviewed the Fergies on camera.

“Both were amazing people,” he said.

And he immersed himself in the craft whiskey business in the Lower Mainland; it looks at what others are doing with their products and the contributions they make to local supply chains.

“They also support other industries,” he said, noting some difficulties due to the lack of support from local whiskey enthusiasts.

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