Ashton Marra Published

Tomblin Signs Two Bills Promoting Tourism in W.Va.


Gov. Tomblin was joined by members of the state Legislature, Division of Tourism representatives and craft brewers from around the state for the ceremonial signing of two bills Monday.

He signed Senate Bill 581, transferring oversight of the state Courtesy Patrol from the Division of Tourism to the Division of Highways.

Some of the funding for the program though, about $4.2 million, will stay with the Division of Tourism to be used for a national and regional advertising campaign.

Tomblin also signed Senate Bill 273. The bill makes multiple changes to state code to help support the growth of the state’s craft brewing industry, like allowing the sale of growlers, or reusable jugs filled with draft beer.

Among other changes, the bill also realigns the licensing fees for brewers, bringing the prices down to help small breweries compete.

“Prior to this bill, the license fees to start a brewery and a brew pub were about $3,000 a year and you really can’t make enough beer to even pay for a $3,000 license,” Brian Arnett, co-founder of Mountain State Brewing Company in Davis, said before the signing.

“So, the scaled licensing fee is going to basically link the license fees to the brewers’ production.”

Arnett called the bill a start, but he and the West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild plan to work with lawmakers to continue to find ways to support the craft brew industry in the state.