A. Subject to the requirements of §§ 4.1-121 and 4.1-122, the Board may establish, maintain, and operate government stores for the sale of alcoholic beverages, other than beer and wine not produced by farm wineries, vermouth, mixers, products used in connection with distilled spirits, including any garnish or garnishment applied to the rim of a glass of distilled spirits, as may be approved by the Board from time to time, and products licensed by the Virginia Tourism Corporation as specified in § 4.1-103 in such counties, cities, and towns considered advisable by the Board. The Board may discontinue any such store.
C. The Board shall fix the wholesale and retail prices at which the various classes, varieties and brands of alcoholic beverages and other Board-approved products that are sold in government stores. Differences in the cost of operating stores, and market competition and conditions may be reflected in the sale price of alcoholic beverages sold at government stores. The Board may sell alcoholic beverages to federal instrumentalities (i) authorized and operating under the laws of the United States and regulations of the United States Department of Defense and (ii) located within the boundaries of federal enclaves or reservations over which the United States has acquired jurisdiction, at prices which may be greater or less than the wholesale price charged other authorized purchasers.
D. Alcoholic beverages at government stores shall be sold by employees of the Board, who shall carry out the provisions of this title and Board regulations governing the operation of government stores and the sale of alcoholic beverages, except that the Board may appoint the holder of a distiller’s license or its officers and employees as agents of the Board for the sale of spirits, manufactured by or for, or blended by such licensee on the licensed premises, at government stores established by the Board on the distiller’s licensed premises.Such agents shall sell the spirits in accordance with the provisions of this title, Board regulations, and the terms of the agency agreement between the Board and the licensed distiller.For the purposes of this subsection, “blended” means the receipt by a licensed distiller of deliveries and shipments of alcoholic beverages, other than wine and beer, in accordance with subdivision 6 of § 4.1-201 to be (i) additionally aged by the receiving distillery in order to increase the quality and flavor of such alcoholic beverages and (ii) bottled by the receiving distillery.
E. No Class 1 neutral grain spirit or alcohol, as defined by federal regulations, that is without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color shall be sold in government stores at a proof greater than 101 except upon permits issued by the Board for industrial, commercial, culinary, or medical use.
F. All alcoholic beverages sold in government stores, except for tasting samples pursuant to subsection G sold in government stores established by the Board on a distiller’s licensed premises, shall be in closed containers, sealed and affixed with labels prescribed by the Board.
G. No alcoholic beverages shall be consumed in a government store by any person unless it is part of an organized tasting event conducted by (i) an employee of a manufacturer of distilled spirits or farm winery or (ii) an authorized representative of a manufacturer of distilled spirits or farm winery with a permit issued by the Board pursuant to subdivision A 15 of § 4.1-212, at which the samples of alcoholic beverages provided to any consumer do not exceed the limits for spirits or wine set forth in subdivision A 5 of § 4.1-201.1. No sample may be consumed by any individual to whom alcoholic beverages may not lawfully be sold pursuant to § 4.1-304.Notwithstanding the provision of this subsection to the contrary, an agent of the Board appointed pursuant to subsection D may give samples of spirits, beer, wine, or cider to persons to whom alcoholic beverages may be lawfully sold for on-premises consumption, provided that (i) the spirits, beer, wine, or cider samples are manufactured within the same licensed premises or on contiguous premises of such agent licensed as a distillery, brewery, or winery; (ii) no single sample shall exceed four ounces of beer, two ounces of wine, or one-half ounce of spirits, unless served as a mixed beverage, in which case a single sample may contain up to one and one-half ounces of spirits; (iii) no more than four total samples of alcoholic beverage products or, in the case of spirits samples, no more than three ounces of spirits shall be given or sold to any person per day; and (iv) in the case of spirits samples, a method is used to track the consumption of each consumer. Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit such agent from serving samples of spirits as part of a mixed beverage.The Board shall establish guidelines governing tasting events conducted pursuant to this subsection.
H. With respect to purchases by licensees at government stores, the Board shall (i) accept in payment for any purchase or series of purchases cash, electronic fund transfer, credit or debit card, or check payable to the Board, in the exact amount of any such purchase or series of purchases and (ii) provide notice to licensees on Board policies relating to the assignment of government stores from which licensees may purchase products and any procedure for the licensee to elect to make purchases from an alternative government store.
I. With respect to purchases by consumers at government stores, the Board shall accept cash in payment for any purchase or series of purchases. The Board may adopt regulations which provide for accepting a credit card or debit card as payment. Such regulations may provide for the collection, where appropriate, of related fees, penalties and service charges for the use of a credit card or debit card by any consumer.
Code 1950, § 4-15; 1958, c. 269; 1962, c. 453; 1970, c. 351; 1983, c. 267; 1984, c. 200; 1992, c. 782; 1993, cc. 252, 866; 1996, c. 558; 1999, c. 98; 2005, c. 651; 2006, c. 106; 2007, cc. 546, 726, 820; 2008, c. 609; 2009, c. 620; 2010, cc. 115, 170, 517; 2011, c. 713; 2012, c. 344; 2013, c. 476; 2014, cc. 437, 724; 2015, cc. 62, 604; 2016, cc. 21, 132, 141.