RICHMOND, VA — The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) enthusiastically welcomes a recent development in Virginia’s approach to beer regulation, marked by the recent signing of the state budget by Governor Glenn Youngkin. This budget allocates funding for the creation of the Virginia Beer Distribution Co. (VBDC), a branch of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The VBDC will set Virginia breweries free to self-distribute limited quantities of their products directly to retailers and restaurants.
Yael Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center weighed in on the news, saying, “This is a huge win for consumers and beer lovers in Virginia. The “three-tier system” is an archaic system for getting beer in front of consumers, a remnant of Prohibition that still holds back many of Virginia’s neighbors from having the best market for beer possible.”
The VBDC will operate primarily online and simplify the process for retailers buying beer from registered breweries. Taxes and fees will be gathered during the transactions, adding to the state’s revenue. Breweries will take on the responsibility of delivering the beer sold through the VBDC. Industry insiders project that if even just 100 breweries opt to self-distribute 500 barrels of beer each year, the new structure will generate $6.9 million in tax and fee revenue for Virginia.
Yael Ossowski continued, “Some brewers will want to use the VBDC system to grow their footprint in Virginia, and others won’t. Distribution contracts make a lot of sense for some fantastic breweries, and less sense for others. This is about choice, and Virginia just expanded it for entrepreneurs and consumers alike. We applaud this move by the House of Delegates and Gov. Youngkin. ”
“There is still much more to do to liberalize the state’s alcohol market, but for the moment, we raise our glass to you, Virginia,” he added.