The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild (VCBG) was formed in December 2010 with the mission to create the best environment in the United States for independent craft beer businesses to manufacture and headquarter their operations. The VCBG organizes craft brewers around four primary focuses: government affairs, marketing & tourism, farm breweries, and quality. The VCBG members also have access to business services focused on training, retaining great talent, reducing operational costs, and maximizing profitability and productivity.
The VCBG is an affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) and the state affiliate of the Brewers Association.
Government Affairs Committee
Brewery members in the Government Affairs Committee advise the Leadership Council and advocate pro-brewery Virginia public policies. This committee’s work specifically focuses on Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) regulations and legislation.
Co-chair: Josh Cromwell, Starr Hill Brewing Co.
Co-chair: Hunter Smith, Champion Brewing Company
Tourism & Marketing Committee
Brewery members in the Tourism & Marketing Committee dedicate themselves to the expansion of independent craft beer in the marketplace. This group collaborates with the Virginia Tourism Corporation to promote the Virginia Craft Beer industry throughout the Commonwealth. Through this, the committee develops tasting room standards, peer networks, tourism promotions, economic development relationships, a professional beer festival series, and an annual craft beer competition.
Co-chair: Neil Burton, Strangeways Brewing
Co-chair: Chris Burns, Old Ox Brewery
Farm Brewery Committee
Through the expansion of farm breweries, the Farm Brewery Committee aims to protect the rural character of Virginia. The committee also promotes agricultural resources for the brewery supply-chain and protects rural structures from over-development, as well as co-manages the development of a beer festival in partnership with the State Fair of Virginia.
Co-chair: Dave St. Clair, Swover Creek Farms & Brewery
Quality & Operations Committee
The Quality Committee focuses on sharing best practices, brewery safety, quality assurance, lab services & equipment vendors, employee development & training, and finance. This peer-focused group coordinates its quality assurance and safety training with the Manufacturing Skills Institute, Brewers Association, and Master Brewers Association. The committee initiated its own quality and safety training certificate and is working on a Brewer Technician Certification. The committee also coordinates with Virginia’s community colleges and universities. Finally, the committee hosts an annual quality seminar and is working toward regional quality workshops.
Co-chair: Kate Lee, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Co-chair: Bill Spence, St. George Brewing Company
Virginia Craft Beer Cup Leaders
The Virginia Craft Beer Cup is one of only three state-based competitions founded and operated by a state Guild. The competition is independently judged using BJCP Rules and judges. The competition is only open to independent Virginia craft breweries that are VCBG members. The Virginia Craft Beer Cup is professionally managed by VCBG staff, leaders, and an independent head judge.
Bill Butcher, Port City Brewing Company
Eric McKay, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery