Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 3. Alcoholic Beverages
Agency 5. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
Chapter 40. Requirements for Product Approval
12/5/2021

3VAC5-40-30. Wine and beer containers; sizes and types; on-premises and off-premises limitations; cooler-dispensers; novel containers; carafes and decanters.

A. Wine and beer may be sold at retail only in or from the original containers of the sizes that have been approved by the appropriate federal agency, except that farm winery licensees may conduct barrel tastings at the winery, at which samples of wine not yet bottled may be sold to visitors to the winery. Each farm winery conducting a barrel tasting shall measure the wine withdrawn for the tasting, maintain full and complete records, and remit the taxes imposed by § 4.1-234 of the Code of Virginia.

B. Wine sold for on-premises consumption shall not be removed from the licensed premises except in the original container with closure. Beer dispensed for on-premises consumption shall not be removed from authorized areas upon the premises. No wine or beer shall be sold for off-premises consumption in any container upon which the original closure has been broken, except for a growler. A "growler" is defined as a resealable container made of glass, ceramic, metal., or other materials approved by the board as well as resealable containers approved by the board.

1. Beer and cider may be sold for off-premises consumption by persons licensed to sell beer and cider for off-premises consumption in growlers with a maximum capacity of 128 fluid ounces or if in metric size containers, four liters.

2. Wine may be sold for off-premises consumption in growlers with a maximum capacity of 64 fluid ounces or, for metric size containers, two liters. Wine sold in growlers may only be sold by persons licensed to sell wine for both on-premises and off-premises consumption and by gourmet shop licensees. Wine sold by gourmet shop licensees shall be labeled with the (i) manufacturer's name or trade name, (ii) place of production, (iii) net contents in fluid ounces, and (iv) name and address of the retailer.

3. Retail licensees licensed to sell wine and beer for both on-premises and off-premises consumption and gourmet shop licensees licensed for off-premises consumption may sell wine and beer in sealed containers made of metal or other materials approved by the board with a maximum capacity of 32 fluid ounces or if in metric size containers, one liter, provided that the alcoholic beverages are placed in the container following an order from the consumer.

C. Novel or unusual containers are prohibited except upon special permit issued by the board. In determining whether a container is novel or unusual, the board may consider, but is not limited to, the following factors: (i) nature and composition of the container; (ii) length of time it has been employed for the purpose; (iii) the extent to which it is designed or suitable for those uses; (iv) the extent to which the container is a humorous representation; and (v) whether the container is dutiable for any other purpose under customs laws and regulations.

D. Wine may be served for on-premises consumption in carafes or decanters not exceeding 52 fluid ounces (1.5 liters) in capacity. Beer may be served for on-premises consumption in pitchers not exceeding 80 fluid ounces in capacity.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-103 and 4.1-111 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-4 § 3, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 30, Issue 8, eff. January 15, 2014; Volume 32, Issue 20, eff. July 15, 2016.

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