On May 7, 2019, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VABC) published a decision confirming the enforceability of arbitration clauses in distribution agreements between brewers and beer distributors under Virginia’s Beer Franchise Act (BFA). In Loveland Distributing Co., Inc. and Premium of Virginia, LLC v. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., the VABC panel ruled unanimously in favor of compelling the parties to resolve their dispute through arbitration, as provided for in the parties’ distribution agreement (the Agreement). The decision is good news overall for beer and wine suppliers hoping to avoid the cost of litigation before the VABC. Continue reading for details of the dispute and further considerations. A. The Dispute Loveland and Bell’s had executed the Agreement in June 2015 for the distribution of Bell’s brands in portions of Virginia. The Agreement states that “All claims disputes and other matters arising out of or relating to this Agreement …...

Continue Reading