It is no secret the mountain state is rich in watering holes to quench everyone’s thirst. Gary Vermillion, Director of Operations for the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, said the case for places with a stacked menu is a no-brainer.

“For local businesses, local restaurants, fine eateries, bars…. it’s natural for people to want more taste in flavor,” Vermillion said.

But there is another reason for craft beer connoisseurs to enjoy a cold one with their meal.

Before the legislative session came to a close, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 529, which increased the statewide maximum alcohol by volume, or ABV, of 12 percent to 15 percent for West Virginia-made craft beer.

For the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company and others, the brainstorming potential for new brews just got a little bigger.

“People are always looking for that different thing,” Vermillion said. “Having a 12-percent limit… kept you in tune to making sure you didn’t over create a recipe or change things.”

However, Vermillion said the ABV increase will help boost such styles that requires patience through a certain process.

“It helps us with our barrel aging programs,” Vermillion said. “Often times, we can create some really nice beers and barrel aging will slightly increase their alcohol content.”

Vermillion said those beers with higher alcohol content under the new limit can roll out anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months before hitting tapwells.

“America’s heavy into craft,” Vermillion said. “This will give us another opportunity to be creative.”