Press Clips: Stone Deal in Richmond Hits Snag Over Restaurant

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Richmond Delays Vote on Stone Restaurant Deal

The city of Richmond is struggling to figure out how to best protect itself in the deal it struck to land Stone Brewing’s east coast facility, as the restaurant phase of the multi-million dollar project has turned into a bit of a snag. Earlier this week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported the city council delayed action on a land transfer for the brewery’s restaurant in order to add new language that would revert the property back to city ownership, should the deal default. Though that’s unlikely, the Times-Dispatch reported on Monday it would be at least another week before the deal gets its final sign off.

Craig Spatz, Stone’s CFO, told the website the project is “now a couple months late,” but is hopeful it can still be done by the end of the year. “I just want to say that it is really imperative for us to get on with this,” he said.

Kentucky Beer Bill Passes House

A bill that would force Anheuser-Busch to sell two distributorships it owns in Kentucky passed out of the House earlier this week and is now off to the Senate, according to the Courier-Journal. House Bill 168, which passed out of the house with a 67-31 vote on Tuesday, attempts to preserve the three-tier system by keeping separate manufacturers, distributors and retailers. If passed, A-B would be required to sell of the two wholesale operations it owns in Owensboro and Louisville. The state’s brewers, retailers and even MillerCoors have all voiced support for the bill, while A-B remains in staunch opposition. On the day of the vote, Damon Williams, director of sales and marketing for Anheuser-Busch of Louisville, wrote an op-ed for, explaining that the passage of the bill would threaten the livelihood of the company’s near 200 employees.

Boston Proposes New Alcohol Sales Tax

Two Boston city councilors are hoping to implement a new citywide tax on all alcohol sales in restaurants, taverns, bars, supermarkets, and package stores alike. According the Boston Globe, the city plans to use the millions of dollars in expected revenue from the tax exclusively on substance abuse programs. Proposed by city councilor president Bill Linehan and councilor Frank Baker, the proposal would increase the sales tax by 1 to 2 percent. The proposal is being opposed by a number of industry stakeholders. “We are opposed to an increase in the sale taxes,” Frank Anzalotti, executive director of the Massachusetts Package Stores Association, told the Globe. “Alcohol is already taxed. It would mean a tax on a tax.”

Tennessee Bill to Allow Beer Tastings for 18-Year-Old Students

One Tennessee lawmaker is pushing a bill that would allow for 18-year-olds to taste beer without swallowing as part of their brewing curriculum in college. State Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), told the Daily News Journal that tasting beer is a critical part of a student’s understanding of the chemistry that goes into brewing. Under the bill, it would still remain illegal to swallow. Ketron sponsored the bill, according to the article, at the request of Middle Tennessee State University Provost Brad Bartel.

Philipsburg Brewing Receives $50,000 Grant for Bottling

Montana’s Philipsburg Brewing received a $50,000 grant from the state this week to go toward bottling and distributing its products, according to the Billings Gazette. With the grant from the state’s Montana Department of Agriculture, the brewery plans to add a bottling facility and expand its taproom. “These awards will allow these businesses to expand and enhance their operations, increasing demand for Montana agricultural products, creating jobs and introducing these products to new markets,” Gov. Steve Bullock told the website. In all, the state awarded six grants this week to local businesses, totaling more than $150,000.

SABMiller CFO Resigns

Jamie Wilson, CFO of SABMiller, will resign in March, according to Forbes. The news comes just more than two weeks after Tom Long, CEO of MillerCoors, announced his own retirement, which is slated for June.