Virginia now home to 206 licensed breweries

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Virginia is now home to 206 licensed breweries, moving ahead of North Carolina.

Virginia’s Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) says the commonwealth has 206 active brewery licenses, growing 468 percent since 2012, Gov. McAuliffe said Thursday.

Comparatively, North Carolina ABC has 186 active brewery licenses.

The growth in Virginia was spurred by a 2012 law allowing retail sales of beer on premise.

A newly released economic impact study shows that Virginia’s booming beer industry contributes more than $9.34 billion annually to Virginia’s economy.

The Beer Institute report showed that the Virginia beer industry employed over 28,000. In addition, excise and sales taxes on beer consumption contributed another $280 million to Virginia’s tax rolls last year.

“The beer industry is a significant economic driver that spans several sectors including manufacturing, agriculture and tourism,” McAuliffe said in a statement.

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