House Bill 1842, which will go into effect on July 1, 2017, increases the proof at which neutral grain spirits may be sold in Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores from 101 to 151. With the passage of this legislation, Virginia ABC anticipates receiving requests from distillers to carry this product in our stores. As with all eligible distilled spirits, we handle such requests through our product selection process, known as “listings.”
Virginia ABC holds its listings process on a quarterly basis, with new products appearing on shelves, on our website and in the Spirited Virginia magazine at the beginning of each quarter—January, April, July and October. To be considered, a new product is first submitted for prescreening to determine if it will be designated for a listings presentation. If selected for a listings presentation, the product will be evaluated by the Virginia ABC Listing Committee. These presentations are held approximately three months prior to the on-shelf date and involve discussions around a product’s appeal to consumers and a product meeting or creating market demand. More complete information about the process is available at https://www.abc.virginia.gov/library/licenses/pdfs/suppliermanual.pdf?la=en.
Further, as we do with all of the products sold in Virginia ABC stores, should we decide to list a high proof neutral grain spirit, we will determine what stores will carry the product and how the product is marketed in our stores.