ABC "20% Rule" Circular
ABC Label and Online Transactions Reform
ABC Permit and License Reform
ABC Sample Size Reform
ABC Multi-Manufacturers Event License Reform
ABC Temporary Distribution Agreements - VA Beer Franchise Act Waiver
Brewery Walking Tour Reform
Tied-House Ownership and Shared Employee Reform Study
Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S. 362/H.R. 1175)
The 2020 Virginia General Assembly will be a heavy lift. Over the last year the VCBG has been working on the largest ABC permit and license reform in history. The total reform of ABC Permits and Licenses will be the primary focus of the VCBG next session. The reforms will also consolidate 12 different Banquet Licenses to 5, including the Manufacturers' Banquet License. The VCBG was also able to secure the consolidation of licenses and permits without a total fee increase. Finally, VCBG has also requested ABC Label and Online Transactions reform to be included in the bill. The VCBG estimates that its work in this matter will save members $150,000+ over the next five years and will result in another $100,000 in cost avoidance. Updates and changes will be available at
Sample sizes are limited to a maximum of 12 ounces. Since the industry standard varies up to 16 ounces, the VCBG has requested that the statute change to reflect this fact. This will be included in the the ABC Permit and License Reform bill. The Manufacturers Event License will be part of the overall restructuring, but the VCBG has also requested that statutory language memorialize the "multi-manufacturers" provision allowed by ABC regulation.
After 18 months of advocacy, the ABC issued partial guidance on the "20% Rule" for tasting room sales. Circular 19-03 was requested by the VCBG and endorsed in its entirety. For purposes of implementing § 4.1-208 of the Code of Virginia, "manufacture" includes, but is not limited to, beer brewed, blended, fermented, finished, aged or packaged on the licensed premises. Performing any of these processes will constitute "manufacture" in determining if 20% of the volume of beer sold on the licensed premises is produced on the premises.
The VCBG is supporting legislation to allow w
alking tour operators to bring tours to breweries that do not have prepared food on site by removing the prepared food requirement. Notably, this is already allowed for tours that take place on a bus, van, or other vehicle. The bill simply gives walking tour operators the same privileges as bus tours. It is also one more opportunity to increase craft beer tourism and marketing opportunities for members - every ounce counts!
ABC Temporary Distribution Agreements
3 VAC 5-30 (Tied-House) and §§ 4.1-103, 4.1-111, 4.1-216 B (1) or 4.1-201 of the Code of Virginia restricts a manufacturer with a financial interest, direct or indirect, in a business of a retail licensee by not allowing the sale of its alcoholic beverages or other merchandise to such retail licensee. The VCBG has participated in a working group that will introduce legislation directing ABC to evaluate a "de minimus" ownership or retail sale restriction rather than a complete prohibition of alcohol sale. The legislation will also include a reevaluation of the restrictions on shared employees between alcohol tiers.
The VCBG, Virginia Distillers Association, Virginia Wineries Association and Virginia Cider
collaborated on the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S. 362/H.R. 1175). Keeping the reduced Federal excise tax reduction on beer is a top priority of the Brewers Association and the VCBG.