When Jamie Queli opened Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing in Cherry Hill, N.J., in 2014, several elected officials and a crowd of local beer lovers came to celebrate the ribbon cutting. A scant number of bar/restaurant representatives stood among them, and three years later, at least two of her closest bar and restaurant neighbors and a regional restaurant chain with a location less than a mile away refuse to sell her beer even though it’s popular around the state. Why?
As one publican has told her, “You didn’t pay for your [liquor] license so you’re unfair competition.”
Though breweries work in partnership with their distributors and retailers, they also compete against them when they construct tasting rooms and pubs that might draw hundreds of customers every day of the week. New Jersey’s craft brewers guild faced stiff resistance in 2012 when it successfully lobbied for a bill that would allow breweries to sell pints and greater quantities of packaged product directly out the door. Though the law has immeasurably transformed the state’s brewing landscape and more than tripled the number of its producers, brewers had to make significant concessions to the associations that represent the state’s restaurants, beer wholesalers and liquor stores in that they must require patrons to take a tour every time they come to sample beer and they can’t operate a restaurant.
Virginia Craft Beer Cup continues to be the largest state competition of its
kind in the United States. The VCBG is
committed to giving its members the opportunity to compete in VA, obtain
critical feedback from certified judges and get noticed statewide. "The Virginia Craft
Beer Cup recognizes
brilliant independent craft beer and the creativity
of the brewers that make it all happen," said Brett Vassey, President &
CEO, Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. "Congratulations to all the teams that competed in this year's Cup."
Virginia Officials Move to Recruit Maryland Brewers
Following this year’s fractious legislative session in Maryland, officials in nearby Virginia have begun contacting Maryland craft breweries with hopes of convincing brewery owners to skip town in favor of a more craft-friendly business climate, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Last month, Maryland lawmakers passed House Bill 1283, which will allow the state’s brewers to sell up to 3,000 barrels of beer directly to consumers in their tasting rooms. Prior to the bill’s passage, brewers were only allowed to sell as much as 500 barrels of beer directly to drinkers, annually.