New regulations sought on Virginia brewery’s tasting rooms


RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) - New restrictions are being proposed for allowing brewery tasting rooms to have a special exemption for a major West Coast craft beer company that’s making its home in Virginia.

House Bill 422 proposes "not less than 20 percent of the beer sold for on site consumption is manufactured on the licensed premises."

However, Del. Greg Habeeb for Salem and CEO of Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery, Michael La Londe, successfully had the legislation amended to operate a tasting room in downtown Roanoke without having to meet the 20 percent threshold.

Deschutes, one of the biggest craft beer companies in the country, announced last year that it plans to invest $85 million to build a brewery in Roanoke that’s expected to create more than 100 new jobs.

The legislation is pushed by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and the Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association is a preventine step to refine existing brewery laws

In January 2015, The Virginia Craft Breweries Guild reported more than 100 operating breweries in the state.

“100 craft breweries is a huge milestone for Virginia,” said Cassidy Rasnick of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, an affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association. “We have seen exponential growth in the last few years, not only in the number of craft breweries, but also in the quality of the beer being produced and the cooperation and collaboration in the industry.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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