Thursday, January 26, 2012

Virginia Brewery Legislation

There's a bill being put forth in the Virginia House of Delegates that could be beneficial to Virginia breweries, and brewery fans. HB 359, sponsored by Delegate Jennifer L. McClellan (D - 71) will provide for brewery-to-brewery sales.
Alcohol beverage control; conduct not prohibited; leasing of licensed premises by breweries.  Provides that ABC law does not prohibit any licensed brewery from leasing its licensed premises and equipment located thereon to a person holding a brewery license for the manufacture of beer by such person at such times as specified in the lease agreement. Any such lease agreement shall require that (i) title to the beer at all stages of the manufacturing process be retained by the respective licensee using the licensed premises to manufacture the beer, (ii) the respective licensee maintain separate records as required by ABC law and Board regulations, and (iii) each licensee otherwise comply with Board regulations. This arrangement is commonly known as alternating proprietorship.
Essentially this legislation would allow a brewery to lease it's excess capacity and equipment to another licensed brewery. Start up costs for a brewery can be prohibitive. Under this bill, an established brewery with idle equipment could enter into an agreement with a new brewery and brew for them. It could also help out of state breweries enter the market with fewer shipping costs. More Virginia breweries means more jobs and more revenue for the state. And more local beer for Virginians!

You can track the progress of the legislation here.

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