The Craft Beer Renaissance

1984 to Present time…

1984: Chesapeake Bay Brewery opens in Virginia Beach by James Kollar, Virginia’s 1st microbrewery and the 2nd microbrewery on East Coast.

1994: Legend Brewery opens by Thomas E. Martin

2009: Legend, Extra Billy’s and Richbrau only Richmond brewers left.

2010: Richbrau Brewing Company (Richmond) closed after 16 years.

2012: SB 604 Passed! Gave brewery license holders permission to sell their beer for on-premise consumption where it is made. “This legislation positions Virginia’s craft brewers to grow and create more jobs in the Commonwealth. From Arlington to Abingdon, entrepreneurial Virginians are innovating and brewing critically acclaimed beers. The legislation signed today will make it easier for our breweries to serve as destinations for potential customers and allow some of our talented small-scale brewers to lease space from established brewers and overcome some of the significant startup costs,” Governor McDonnell.

2014: SB 430 Farm Brewery Act Passed! Created a new limited brewery license for breweries that manufactured less than 15,000 barrels of beer per calendar year and located on a farm in Virginia. “It is the policy of the Commonwealth to preserve the economic vitality of the Virginia beer industry”.  Virginia Code § 15.2288.3:1(A)

NOTE: John A. “Jack” McAuliffe (born 1945) started New Albion Brewing Company in Sonoma, California. This is considered the first American microbrewery in the modern era in 1976. When Jack was in the third grade, his family moved to Fairfax, Virginia, where he became interested in welding – skills he later utilized in his microbrewery.