By Jeff Maisey
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed HB2418 at Steam Bell Beer Works in Midlothian expanding the number of banquet licenses a craft brewery can use annually from four to eight.
Roxann Robins (R-House District 27) is the patron of the bill referenced as “Alcoholic beverage control; banquet licenses for wineries and breweries.”
The exact wording is as follows: Increases from four to eight the number of banquet licenses a brewery or winery may obtain for events in any one-year period, provided that the event for which a banquet license is obtained is (i) at a place approved by the Board and (ii) conducted for the purposes of featuring and educating the consuming public about beer or wine products, respectively. The bill also specifically provides that such wine or beer manufacturer is limited to eight banquet licenses for such events per year without regard to the number of wineries or breweries, respectively, owned or operated by such manufacturer or by any parent, subsidiary, or company under common control with such manufacturer. The bill contains a technical amendment.
“That language limits wineries and breweries with expansion sites to eight total licenses per year,” said Brett Vassey, President & CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association and Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. “So, for example, Hardywood will only have eight total opportunities per year regardless of the fact that they have three breweries in Virginia.”