Showing posts with label sb 604. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sb 604. Show all posts

Friday, June 13, 2014

In Praise of the Brewery Tap

I went to the pub the other day, shock horror, and something has been on my mind ever since.

The pub in question had a good selection, including a decent range of local beers and those from further afield, such as:
  • Champion Killer Kolsch
  • Three Notch'd Hydraulion
  • 21st Amendment Bitter American
  • Bell's Oberon
Something that piqued my interest was the pricing. The 2 local beers in that list, Champion and Three Notch'd, were priced at $5 and $6 for a pint respectively, and the beers from further away were both $5.

Said pub is about equidistant between the two local breweries, so what would be the reason for the extra $1 in price? Sure it could be the extra 0.3% abv that Hydraulion has over Killer Kolsch, though the extra 0.3% abv, but given that Blue Mountain's very nice Full Nelson was likewise priced at $5 on the menu and is 0.6% abv more than Hydraulion, I assume not.


This little vignette shows the one big annoyance of mine with retailers of 'craft' beer, their sheer inconsistency when it comes to pricing similar products, oh and don't get me started about places claiming to have hundreds of 'craft' beers and then including Estrella, Guinness, and Leffe in their lists.


I guess this is one of the reasons why I find myself drinking more and more locally produced beer ('local' beer is a total misnomer given that ingredients are shipped in from around the world) in the places where they were brewed. I prefer my money to be going directly to the producers of the beer rather than through the mitts of various middle men. One of the best things to happen to Virginia beer is the passing into law of SB604, which allowed breweries to sell pints through their tasting rooms.

The brewery tap is fast becoming the best place to drink, and support, local producers of beer. Long may it continue.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Law of Unintended Consequences

For those of us who live in Virginia and love beer, July 1st will likely go down as one of the best days of 2012. It was on that date that law SB 604 came into effect, allowing breweries to sell pints of their products in their tasting rooms. If you come to the Starr Hill tasting room this Saturday I will, as a result of this law, be able to sell you a pint and, speaking from the point of view of someone behind the bar, I much prefer pouring pints than samples.


As a result of the law coming into effect there have been a veritable slew of breweries opening up with tasting rooms that are effectively pubs. Unencumbered with the requirement to have 45% of their on-premise business come from food sales, I can see more and more breweries turning their tasting rooms into bars. On a personal level I very much welcome such a move, anything that means there are more pub-esque places in the Commonwealth is a good thing in my book.

However, this does raise a question in my head. Given that the legal requirement for pubs and bars to have food is now effectively redundant, why is it still on the statute book? Wouldn't it make sense for the Governor to take a pro-free market stance and reduce the daft regulation and red tape around starting a pub, thus allowing pubs to focus on what pubs are for? Good beer, maybe some snacks and being a social centre for the community, oh and making a viable living for those who want to run a pub without the hassle of being a restaurant as well?

Old Friends: Joseph's Brau PLZNR

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