State Distribution Laws

West Virginia

License Needed to Self-Distribute: Yes
Statute: W. Va. Code § 11-16-6; W. Va. Code § 60-4-3

West Virginia Statute

Brewers in West Virginia are permitted to self-distribute their own products and do not need to use a wholesaler.

Those that choose to use wholesalers must enter into written distribution agreements with those wholesalers, and those distribution agreements must have the same terms and conditions for each wholesaler. The distribution agreement must also acknowledge:

  • The wholesaler’s right to determine its resale prices
  • The wholesaler’s right to determine which products it wants to distribute
  • The wholesaler’s general right to manage its business

Wholesalers are not permitted to transfer their business without the prior consent of the brewer, which cannot be unreasonably withheld, and if a brewer disapproves the transfer, they must provide their reasons for doing so. A copy of a brewer’s disapproval must also be sent to that state. Additionally, brewers cannot terminate their distribution agreements without first providing the wholesaler with 90 days’ notice of the pending termination. Brewers who violate any of these provisions are subject to bond forfeiture and additional fines.

State WV | Distribution Agreement Legal Review

Fun Fact: In a holdover from Prohibition, West Virginia still refers to beer as “non-intoxicating,” a workaround permitting the sale of this product in bars and restaurants. All beer vendors to this day are legally selling “non-intoxicating beer.”