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McDonnell signs legislation aiding craft brewers

Gov. Bob McDonnell today signed two pieces of legislation to support Virginia craft brewers at the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

House Bill 359 (McClellan) allows manufacturers to lease space in their brewhouses to smaller-scale brewers and Senate Bill 604 (McWaters) allows retail sales of beer and sampling on the premises of Virginia breweries.

The governor was joined by legislators, brewers from around the state, distributors, representatives from the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, representatives from the Virginia Manufacturers Association, commissioner of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Neal Insley, and representatives from the Virginia Tourism Commission.

After the bill signing the governor helped unveil a new logo for craft beer from the Virginia Tourism Commission “Virginia is for craft beer Lovers.” Virginia currently has 44 licensed breweries.

“This legislation positions Virginia’s craft brewers to grow and create more jobs in the Commonwealth. From Arlington to Abingdon, entrepreneurial Virginians are innovating and brewing critically acclaimed beers. The legislation signed today will make it easier for our breweries to serve as destinations for potential customers and allow some of our talented small-scale brewers to lease space from established brewers and overcome some of the significant start-up costs,” McDonnell said.

On May 5, the winners of the 2012 World Beer Cup were announced in San Diego. Five Virginia breweries won medals, competing with 3,921 beers from around the world.

Category 6: Herb and Spice Beer, 80 Entries
Bronze: GingerBread Stout, Hardywood Park Brewery, Richmond

Category 8: Coffee Beer, 56 Entries
Bronze: Coffee Stout, Rock Bottom Arlington, Arlington

Category 17: American-Belgo-Style Ale, 48 Entries
Silver: Blue Reserve, Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton

Category 35: Vienna-Style Lager, 41 Entries
Gold: Vienna Lager, Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Roseland

Category 70: Extra Special Bitter, 49 Entries
Silver: GAR Pale Ale, Great American Restaurants, Centreville

Bills signed today

SB604 (McWaters) Brewery licensee retail and samples
·         Allows a brewery licensee to sell at retail the brands of beer that the brewery owns at premises described in the brewery license for on-premises consumption and in closed containers for off-premises consumption. The bill also allows these licensees to offer samples of the brewery’s products to individuals visiting the licensed premises, provided that such samples shall be provided only to individuals for consumption on the licensed premises and only to individuals to whom such products may be lawfully sold.

HB359 (McLellan) Terms under which licensed brewery may manufacture beer
·         Requires the ABC Board to adopt regulations prescribing the terms and conditions under which a licensed brewery may manufacture beer pursuant to an agreement with a brand owner not under common control with the manufacturing brewery and sell and deliver the beer to the brand owner
·         Will allow current manufacturers to lease space in their brewhouses to new or smaller-scale brewers

augusta free press
augusta free press