Virginia bill benefiting breweries proposed

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) --
Local breweries and beer drinkers alike are hoping a bill gets tapped by the General Assembly.

If passed, House Bill 859 would create sales and use tax exemptions for beer-making equipment. This includes machinery, tools, and other materials used in the commercial production of beer, as well as packaging and shipping of the product by Virginia breweries.

Local brewers say this exemption would not only benefit current facilities, but also encourage new breweries to tap-in.

"The equipment we use in the brewing industry is very expensive," said Tim Brady, general manager of Pale Fire Brewing Company in Harrisonburg. "So if you could remove the sales tax portion of that, that's a big incentive and a big cash savings for both existing breweries and new breweries."

Brady also said the bill could improve the craft beer culture in Harrisonburg, which is already one of the best in the state.

"There will be more breweries, which is a great thing, and I think that there will be more variety for local craft beer fans to try, said Brady. "Anybody who is a craft beer fan should definitely support the bill."

The bill was introduced by Delegate Steve Landes, and has passed the house votes. It will now go through the senate committee.