Farms that make and sell beer in Virginia will soon be on equal legal footing with wineries, thanks to a Virginia Senate that has been strongly endorsed by the Loudoun County Chamber of Coomerce, and many others.
For you legislative geeks, the measure is Senate Bill 430 and it has passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly. All it needs now is the signature of Governor Terry McAuliffe. The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild led the business coalition supporting this bill, which grants breweries located on a farm similar privileges as farm wineries. The farm breweries are required to grow and use their agricultural product, such as hops or barley, in its beer.
The Loudoun Business Watchdog couldn’t agree more with Lisa Pumphrey of Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewey: “The craft beer industry is a growing part of Virginia’s economy, ” said Lisa. “Senator Watkins recognized that farm breweries offer an avenue for small business generation in rural areas. The bill will allow new breweries to flourish and contribute to Virginia’s tourism industry.”
The craft beer industry in Virginia has seen 75% growth in the number of breweries, supporting 8,123 FTE jobs and granting the Commonwealth an economic impact of $623 million. That is a lot of hops!