Craft Beer is quickly taking over as the drink of choice for many Americans, but that may not be the case in West Virginia, yet.
Wet Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito says, “my understanding is that the craft beer industry has grown all around the country and really hasn’t grown here in West Virginia. I think West Virginians like to know that they’re using or drinking West Virginia products.”
With a new law in effect, residents will likely be able to drink more Mountain State craft beer. Much of the legislation focuses on the sale of growlers, which are a special bottle that allows the buyer to purchase beer from a tap that will not be consumed on site. Before the law took effect, having a license to sell growlers was heavily regulated.
The Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company already has a tap room, therefore they can sell their beer in growlers, but with the new law, local restaurants will also be able to sell their beer, expanding the brewery’s profits and the profits of craft breweries statewide.
Will Laska is the co-owner of Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company. Right now, GVBC is only selling their product in West Virginia, and Laska says he has seen a large increase in the number of people interested in craft beer. He believes that number will only continue to grow with the new law in effect and restaurants being more involved in the sale of his products.
He says, “if they can sell more of our beer, that’s great and we support that, and we’ll help them set up a growler station if needed. It’s good for everyone.”
Under this law, breweries hope to see West Virginia rise from it’s current position as one of the smallest craft beer producing states in the country.