WHEREAS, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild works to promote the interests of small, independent, and traditional brewers of beer and currently 40 craft breweries operate in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild was established in 2010 to promote economic development, streamline business processes, develop good relationships with business partners, and encourage tourism efforts; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s craft breweries already are an economic engine in the Commonwealth; most sell their beverages only in Virginia, thus the money raised from sales of craft beers and the revenue from tourists visiting the breweries remains largely within the local economy; and
WHEREAS, the members of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild also contribute to the state’s economic growth through job creation, the purchase of locally grown barley and hops, and the donation of spent brewing grains to local farms to be used as animal feed; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild has designated August as Virginia Craft Beer Month, encouraging residents and visitors alike to patronize the dozens of traditional craft breweries in the state; a festival will be held
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the good work of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild to promote Virginia’s small breweries; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Mike Killelea, chairman of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, as an expression of the General Assembly’s appreciation for its efforts on behalf of economic development in the Commonwealth.
So, yes Virginia, August is your Virginia Craft Beer Month, and there will be much drinking and celebrating throughout the state during the month. Several of the approximately 40 breweries and brewpubs in the state will hold special events, as well as many of the Virginia restaurants, pubs, and shops that make a point of supporting local beer.
The state's tourism department has created a website about Virginia breweries at www.virginia.org/craftbeer/. In addition to containing an interactive map of the state's breweries, the site also has a calendar of Craft Beer events for the month. The site will continue 'live' after August.
Connected to all this festivity are two beer-related bills —that aim to promote the business of Virginia breweries— which became law on July 1st. One allows alternating proprietorships for breweries; the other allows breweries to sell their beers and hold samplings for the public onsite in their breweries, something Virginia wineries had long been allowed to do.
The month's crowning event will be the 1st ever Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, to be held at Devils Backbone Brewing Company's grounds in Nelson County, Virginia, on Saturday, 25 August (not the 18th as had been previously announced). According to the website —virginiacraftbrewersfest.com:
Presented by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and the Virginia Manufacturers Association, the 2012 Virginia Craft Brewers Festival is designed to bring together all qualified and interested Virginia Craft Breweries as an opportunity to promote the Virginia Craft Brewing Industry and the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. The event will feature the Virginia Craft Beer Cup competition in 5 Categories with the cup being awarded to the best overall brewery), beer tastings, some of Virginia’s best live bands, an amazing food experience by The Rock Barn and CAMPING in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
The passage of these bills, and the recognition of Virginia breweries, were accomplished through the hard work of many folk, but one group stands out for special recognition —and is, is recognized per se in the House and Senate proclamation— the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and its chairman, Mike Killelea.
So, to those 40 breweries throughout Virginia ...
... we thirsty Virginian good beer drinkers, do— today, and throughout August, and long after that— drink to you in thanks ... with your Virginia beer.
- If your local beer shop or pub is NOT celebrating, ask them —politely— why not, and then refer them to the website, tell them about the burgeoning growth of 'craft' beer in Virginia, and encourage them to join the fun.
- Another excellent resource on events during the month is the blog VACraftBeer.com, maintained by Richmond, Virginia, beer enthusiast Edmond Medina.
- Alternating proprietorship: A brewery or even a wholesaler will be able to pay another brewery to produce the former's own brand for it, and then take immediate ownership of that beer for distribution through its own channels. More on what that means here.
- Several Virginia breweries celebrated the change of the tasting room law on July 1st, some of whom used the unfortunate term "Brewdependence," where, of course, the opposite of independence was meant. Port City celebrated (without the moniker) but on the 3rd. That story: here.
- Virginia House Joint Resolution #522 —commending the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and proclaiming August as Virginia Craft Beer Month— was offered in the General Assembly on 5 March 2012.