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?


  1. I hope you can pour a better looking pint than that one.

  2. I would say 'come and find out' but I am sure you have better things to do with your cash. Mind you, it would give me an opportunity to change your mind about Northern Lights, which I seem to remember you being none too fond of at the GBBF a couple of years back:

    And I would love your opinion on Dark Starr Stout - I think it's lovely.

  3. Al, since you now own a house there, I imagine you have no real intention to leave any-time soon so at some point in the future, I know I will be visiting. I suppose it's my turn now.


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