Starting in January, beer drinkers around Richmond noticed that the beers of Bell’s Brewery, known for favorites such as Oberon and Two Hearted Ale, where no longer appearing on the shelves of grocery stores or at restaurants. Later, in February, we learned that the loss of Bell’s was not just limited to Virginia, but also extended to the rest of the Commonwealth. The legal arguments have centered on the amount of information that Loveland, Bell’s distributor in Virginia, was supposed to provide the brewery as a part of being purchased by Premium Distributors of Virginia; however, the scuttlebutt in the industry theorizes that another cause may be the parent company of Premium Distributors of Virginia, with whom Bell’s has previously quarreled.
The initial decision has finally come down from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority this week, and the order from the board compels the sides to mandatory arbitration to work out how much information is due to each party in this action. Since I am not a lawyer, just a person who likes to use the Freedom of Information Act, I have embedded the PDF that I received from the ABC below for all of your to sort through the legalese. Enjoy!