The Virginia Craft Newsmaster
May 31, 2019
Virginia Craft Beer Conference (VCBC)
1 pm - 5 pm, June 17, 2019
WestRock HQ, 501 S 5th St, Richmond, VA 23219

The VCBC will focus on topics that help brewers produce world-class craft beer.  It will feature guest speakers and peers sharing information and best-practices on quality, technology, good manufacturing practices, safety, workforce training, marketing, yeast management, and other topics.   Click here to register for this year's Virginia Craft Beer Conference by June 10 .
Registration is free to members. Program updates and changes will be available at

The VCBC program is below:

1 pm                Welcome                                                     Sten Sellier, VCBG Chair
1:15 pm           VCBG Business Services &                       Brett Vassey, President & CEO
                       Government Affairs Report                          Kevin Erskine, VCBG Vice Chair
 Betty Arnold, Member Services Director
  • ABC Update                                                           
    • License/Permit Reforms 
    • TTB Delays
    • New Permit & License Fees
    • New Crowler Regulations
    • Pending 20% Rule Guidance
    • Pending Label & Ingredient Reforms
  • VMA Insurance Services Update
  • VCBG Quality & Safety Certificate
  • VCBG Events & Craft Beer Festivals
  • 2019 & 2020 General Assembly
Staff will discuss the current VCBG regulatory agenda, and update members on current and developing business services that will help members increase brand awareness, improve employee safety and save money.
2:00 pm          Independent Distributors in Virginia         George Kastendike, Craft VA Dist. Co.
                                                                                         Isaac Miller , Reverie Dist. Co. (invited)
                                                                                         Aaron Childress , Pretty Ugly Dist. Co.
A panel of independent distributors will discuss the trends occurring in the distribution tier and opportunities that exist for small craft brewers in Virginia.

2:45 pm           VCBG-WestRock Packaging Innovation Challenge        David Hayslette, WestRock
Competitors in the 3rd annual VCBG-WestRock Packaging Innovation Challenge will describe the meaning of the packaging to their brand and demonstrate a prototype. Members will vote on the best packaging.

3:15 pm          Building a World-Class Tasting Room      Tim Brady, Craft Beer Service     
or Brewpub                                               Ambassador,  Brewers Association

Tim is a Beer Server Training Manual instructor. He has worked with BA staff to create a training program based on techniques from the Brewpubs committee's Beer Server Training Manual.   His front-line experience in hospitality includes owner and operator of an inn, craft beer bar, campground, and entertainment complex as well as the brewery, restaurant, and biergarten at Whetstone Station in Brattleboro, VT. Brady believes that the key to success is great service; that great service comes from great staff; and that great staff comes from great training. He will share his tips, techniques and insights into what it takes to build and sustain a world-class tasting room or brewpub.
4:15 pm          VCBG Annual Member Meeting (Members-Only)
  • Government Affairs Committee Report       Porter Hardy & Hunter Smith
  • Farm Brewery Committee Report               Janell Zurschmeide & Lisa Pumphrey
  • Quality Committee Report                          Kate Lee & Shawn Spencer
  • Marketing & Tourism Committee Report    Neil Burton & Chris Burns
  • 2019-2020 Leadership Council Election    Brett Vassey
Members-only annual meeting to provide an update on committee activities and elect open seats to VCBG Leadership Council.
5 pm               Adjourn

This year's Virginia Craft Beer Conference Host Site Sponsor is WestRock.            

Virginia Craft Beer Cup Gala
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm, June 17, 2019
Tredegar  Iron Works
470 Tredegar St, Richmond, VA 23219

The competitors and winners of the 8th annual Virginia Craft Beer Cup will be honored at this year's new Virginia Craft Beer Cup Gala.  Members, guests, VIP retailers, judges and the press will all celebrate together for the first time, have a light dinner, and enjoy the best craft beer in Virginia.  This is an invitation-only event.  2019  Cup competitors will receive 2 free tickets to the Gala. Additional tickets and all other participants must purchase tickets to the Gala.  This is expected to be the largest craft brewer networking event in the Commonwealth.

Registrations and sponsorships are due by June 10, 2019.

Signature Sponsor:

Virginia International Raceway (VIR) Craft Beer Fest
VCBG-VIR Craft Beer Fest
August 3, 2019

This is the VCBG's newest beer festival. The VIR Craft Beer Fest is a continuation of the VCBG's commitment to providing members with unique regional opportunities to build brand awareness with craft and non-craft beer consumers.  This new beer festival was inspired by the amazing success of the VCBG's RR Craft Beer Fest with NASCAR.

This event will be an entirely different experience.  Located on the beautiful VIR Motorsports Resort in Alton, Virginia. VIR Craft Beer Fest will be in conjunction with the Sports Car Club of American trials.  The event will be indoor and outdoor.  Members will also have access to on-premise camping!

Whether it's for brand building in the Southern Virginia and Northern North Carolina market, the enjoyment of your brands to motor sports fans, or just to enjoy time with colleagues and enthusiasts of independent craft beer, this is going to be a great time for all.  Registration and sponsorships will be available by June 28 at 
Virginia Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest
October 5, 2019
Virginia State Fair Grounds
Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest

Mark your c alendars for the 3rd Annual Virginia Blue Ribbon Craft Beer Fest.  This event is a partnership between the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and State Fair of Virginia to celebrate the booming independent craft beer industry in the state and introduce a new audience to unique agricultural products. Fest attendees will have the opportunity to interact with owners, brewers and representatives from throughout the Commonwealth and enjoy their fantastic products while listening to live music. Sponsorships and registrations will be available by July 2019 at 

Virginia Craft Brewers Fest
Postponed Until 2020

The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild (VCBG) selected Three Notch'd Brewing Company (3NB) from an extremely competitive field to host the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest ("The Fest"). The Fest has attracted nearly 4,000 craft beer enthusiasts over the last two years. The Fest is also the largest concentration of Virginia-only craft breweries in the Commonwealth with 88 participating breweries last year. Today, the VCBG is announcing that The Fest will not be held in 2019 and we are beginning a one-year process of reforming its format and selecting a commercial venue in a new market for 2020.
"VCBG is incredibly appreciative of Three Notch'd Brewing Company's support and management of The Fest over the past two years," said Brett Vassey, VCBG President & CEO. "They will forever be part of the legacy of The Fest."
"Looking ahead, we are extremely excited to host future Three Notch'd inspired events and festivals across the Commonwealth of Virginia for craft beer fans to enjoy," said George Kastendike, Three Notch'd Brewing Company CEO. "We are incredibly honored to have hosted the VCBF the last two years in the heart of downtown Charlottesville.  With the joint efforts of the VCBG, we worked hard to enhance the overall Fest experience for the craft beer community by increasing brewer participation and launching the first ever sour and barrel-aged garden."
Going forward, the VCBG's marketing and tourism program will be expanding upon regional and specialized markets to provide both craft beer and non-craft beer consumers with access to our members' world-class products. The VCBG will also be incorporating popular "Brewers Dinner" gatherings into its expanded regional festivals and events. The VCBG's marketing and tourism program is unique and is purposefully crafted to generate brand awareness and business opportunities for members.
"The VCBG has created the first NASCAR event of its kind in the U.S., one of the few State Fair partnerships in the U.S., and is adding an entirely new sports venue through the Virginia International Raceway for members to reach new consumers," said Neil Burton, Strangeways Brewing Company President (VCBG Leadership Council). "Reimagining The Fest is just part of our overall strategy to build our members' brand awareness."                        
If you know of a commercial venue that would be a good site for the 2020 Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, please email Betty Arnold, VCBG Member Services Director at  For a complete list of VCBG and member events, go to

Betty Arnold
Member Services Director

The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild is a coalition of independent, small, commercial breweries dedicated to growing the craft beer industry in the Commonwealth.