Friday Eye Opener

Here’s a taste of the news we’ve been following this week:

Recognizing the wave of local breweries breaking in Washington D.C., giving life to a long barren craft brew landscape, Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. has introduced a bill that would allow production breweries to operate tasting rooms at their facilities.  DC Brau Brewing Company is given credit for providing much of the impetus for the bill.

The Virginia legislature passed legislation changing the state’s labeling laws to permit apple-based alcoholic beverages with greater than 7% alcohol content to be sold as “hard cider.”  Apparently, many varietals of Virginia apple naturally ferment to 10% abv.  The current law, which will change upon the Governor’s signature, requires would-be cider with greater than 7% alcohol content to be labeled as wine.

Virginia also lifted regulations this week that banned alcohol ads on billboards throughout the state.  The move was in response to a free speech lawsuit.

In other labeling law news, here’s a good story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on how the liquor industry is resisting efforts to require calories counts and other nutritional information to be included on their products.

Corkage (or as I like to call them, BYOW) laws have been big stories in Maryland and Virginia this legislative session, with Virginia moving with much greater haste than Maryland.  Here, the Wine Spectator turns its attention to the subject.

Finally, a story out of Cumberland, Maryland, illustrating the hoops one must jump through to get a temporary liquor license.

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