West Virginia Craft Beer Legislation

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Jul 7, 2007
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Not sure if this is the appropriate forum for this, but nothing else seemed to fit very well. I trust an admin will take care of that kind of problem and reproach me for my ways... :) I'm just trying to get the word out to as many of my fellow residents as possible. Anyhow....

I'd like to encourage all West Virginia homebrewers and beer lovers to call or email their state Senators expressing their support of House Bill 2719. This bill changes the definition of "nonintoxicating beer" in the state code (§11-16-3) to allow the sale of beer up to 12% abv, as opposed to the current language which only allows beer up to 6% abv. Needless to say, this would start to open the doors for a much, much wider selection of great craft beer and imports to make it into our state. It could also help encourage more local breweries to be opened, since it would greatly reduce the constraints on the styles one could brew and sell. Also, this infusion of craft brew might help introduce the palates of our state's citizens to the wonders of beer that isn't tasteless, nearly-colourless excrement from the bladder of huge multinational corporations.

Here's the web address for the bill's history: Bill Status - Complete Bill History
Included on that page are links showing the admended language the bill proposes, as well as its status.

Currently, the bill has passed the House of Represenatives (House Roll #37) and moved to the Senate, where it is being reviewed by the Judiciary Committee. They have recently added some language to the version that was introduced in and passed the house, but after I reviewed the changes, I found that all they did was create a new section that included a definition for "nonintoxicating craft beer". This is a little redundant, but... well.... it IS government. You can easily find the names and emails of the Senators who are serving on the Judiciary Committee on the committee's section of the legislature's website (Senate Judiciary Committee), as well as serch for the contact information for your district's Senators (West Virginia Senate District Map). For convenience, I'll include the Judiciary Committee information at the bottom of this post.

Let's let them know we want them to hurry and get the bill to a full Senate vote, pass it, and get this signed into law to help better the lives of all beer lovers in our state! It might have to go back to the House to have the added language approved, but since they passed it once I don't see where this would be a big deal other than we are running out of time in this year's legislative session. And PLEASE, if you don't live in the state of West Virginia, don't contact the members of our legislature. While we welcome your support whole-heartedly, our legislative members might not be so enthusiastic about receiving a barrage of emails from people who aren't their constituents.

Cheers to all, and happy brewing!
Elkview, WV

WV State Judiciary Committee Members

Senator Jeff Kessler - Chair - [email protected] (304) 357-7880
Senator Michael Oliverio - Vice-Chair [email protected] (304) 357-7919
Senator Richard Browning - [email protected] (304) 357-7807
Senator H. Truman Chafin - [email protected] (304) 357-7808
Senator Dan Foster - [email protected] (304) 357-7866
Senator Evan Jenkins - [email protected] (304) 357-7956
Senator William Laird - [email protected] (304) 357-7849
Senator Joseph Minard - [email protected] (304) 357-7904
Senator Corey Palumbo - [email protected] (304) 357-7854
Senator Herb Snyder - [email protected] (304) 357-7957
Senator Ron Stollings - [email protected] (304) 357-7939
Senator Bob Williams - [email protected] (304) 357-7995
Senator Jack Yost - [email protected] (304) 357-7984
Senator Clark Barnes - [email protected] (304) 357-7973
Senator Don Caruth - [email protected] (304) 357-7901
Senator Frank Deem - [email protected] (304) 357-7970
Senator Mike Hall - [email protected] (304) 357-7843