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WVC 11 - 16 - 3 §11-16-3. Definitions.

     For the purpose of this article, except where the context clearly requires differently:

     (1) "Brand" means a nonintoxicating beer product manufactured, brewed, mixed, concocted, blended, bottled or otherwise produced, or imported or transhipped by a brewer or manufacturer, the labels of which have been registered and approved by the commissioner that is being offered for sale or sold in West Virginia by a distributor who has been appointed in a valid franchise agreement or a valid amendment thereto.

     (2) "Brewer" or "manufacturer" means any person manufacturing, otherwise producing or importing or transshipping nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer for sale at wholesale to any licensed distributor. Brewer or manufacturer may be used interchangeably throughout this article. A brewer may obtain only one brewer's license for its nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer.

     (3)  "Brewpub" means a place of manufacture of nonintoxicating beer owned by a resident brewer, subject to federal and state regulations and guidelines, a portion of which premises are designated for retail sales of nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer by the resident brewer owning the brewpub.

     (4) "Class A retail license" means a retail license permitting the retail sale of liquor at a freestanding liquor retail outlet licensed pursuant to chapter sixty of this code.

     (5) "Commissioner" means the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Commissioner.

     (6) "Distributor" means and includes any person jobbing or distributing nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer to retailers at wholesale and whose warehouse and chief place of business shall be within this state. For purposes of a distributor only, the term "person" means and includes an individual, firm, trust, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association or corporation. Any trust licensed as a distributor or any trust that is an owner of a distributor licensee, and the trustee or other persons in active control of the activities of the trust relating to the distributor license, is liable for acts of the trust or its beneficiaries relating to the distributor license that are unlawful acts or violations of article eleven of this chapter notwithstanding the liability of trustees in article ten, chapter forty-four-d of this code.

     (7) "Franchise agreement" means the written agreement between a brewer and a distributor that is identical as to terms and conditions between the brewer and all its distributors, which agreement has been approved by the commissioner. The franchise agreement binds the parties so that a distributor, appointed by a brewer, may distribute all of the brewer's nonintoxicating beer products, brands or family of brands imported and offered for sale in West Virginia, including, but not limited to, existing brands, line extensions and new brands all in the brewer's assigned territory for the distributor. All brands and line extensions being imported or offered for sale in West Virginia must be listed by the brewer in the franchise agreement or a written amendment to the franchise agreement. A franchise agreement may be amended by mutual written agreement of the parties as approved by the commissioner with identical terms and conditions for a brewer and all of its distributors. Any approved amendment to the franchise agreement becomes a part of the franchise agreement. A brewer and a distributor may mutually agree in writing to cancel a franchise agreement. A distributor terminated by a brewer as provided in this article and the promulgated rules no longer has a valid franchise agreement. If a brewer has reached an agreement to cancel a distributor or has terminated a distributor, then a brewer may appoint a successor distributor who accedes to all the rights of the cancelled or terminated distributor.

     (8) "Franchise distributor network" means the distributors who have entered into a binding written franchise agreement, identical as to terms and conditions, to distribute nonintoxicating beer products, brands and line extensions in an assigned territory for a brewer. A brewer may only have one franchise distributor network: Provided, That a brewer that has acquired the manufacturing, bottling or other production rights for the sale of nonintoxicating beer at wholesale from a selling brewer as specified in subdivision (2), subsection (a), section twenty-one of this article shall continue to maintain and be bound by the selling brewer's separate franchise distributor's network for any of its existing brands, line extensions and new brands.

     (9) "Freestanding liquor retail outlet" means a retail outlet that sells only liquor, beer, nonintoxicating beer and other alcohol-related products, as defined pursuant to section four, article three-a, chapter sixty of this code.

     (10) "Growler" means a glass ceramic or metal container or jug, capable of being securely sealed, utilized by a brewpub for purposes of off-premise sales of nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer for personal consumption not on a licensed premise and not for resale.

     (11) "Line extension" means any nonintoxicating beer product that is an extension of brand or family of brands that is labeled, branded, advertised, marketed, promoted or offered for sale with the intent or purpose of being manufactured, imported, associated, contracted, affiliated or otherwise related to a brewer's existing brand through the use of a brewer, its subsidiaries, parent entities, contracted entities, affiliated entities or other related entities'. In determining whether a nonintoxicating beer product is a line extension, the commissioner may consider, but is not limited to, the following factors: name or partial name; trade name or partial trade name; logos; copyrights; trademarks or trade design; product codes; advertising promotion or pricing.

     (12) "Nonintoxicating beer" means all natural cereal malt beverages or products of the brewing industry commonly referred to as beer, lager beer, ale and all other mixtures and preparations produced by the brewing industry, including malt coolers and nonintoxicating craft beers with no caffeine infusion or any additives masking or altering the alcohol effect containing at least one half of one percent alcohol by volume, but not more than nine and six-tenths of alcohol by weight, or twelve percent by volume, whichever is greater. The word "liquor" as used in chapter sixty of this code does not include or embrace nonintoxicating beer nor any of the beverages, products, mixtures or preparations included within this definition.

     (13) "Nonintoxicating beer sampling event" means an event approved by the commissioner for a Class A retail Licensee to hold a nonintoxicating beer sampling authorized pursuant to section eleven-a of this article.

     (14) "Nonintoxicating beer sampling day" means any days and hours of the week where Class A retail licensees may sell nonintoxicating beer pursuant to subdivision (1), subsection (a), section eighteen of this article, and is approved, in writing, by the commissioner to conduct a nonintoxicating beer sampling event.

     (15) "Nonintoxicating craft beer" means any beverage obtained by the natural fermentation of barley, malt, hops or any other similar product or substitute and containing not less than one half of one percent by volume and not more than twelve percent alcohol by volume or nine and six-tenths percent alcohol by weight with no caffeine infusion or any additives masking or altering the alcohol effect.

     (16) "Original container" means the container used by the brewer at the place of manufacturing, bottling or otherwise producing nonintoxicating beer for sale at wholesale.

     (17) "Person" means and includes an individual, firm, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association or corporation.

     (18) "Resident brewer" means any brewer or manufacturer of nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer whose principal place of business and manufacture is located in the State of West Virginia and which does not brew or manufacture more than twenty- five thousand barrels of nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer annually, and does not self-distribute more than ten thousand barrels thereof in the State of West Virginia annually.

     (19) "Retailer" means any person selling, serving, or otherwise dispensing nonintoxicating beer and all products regulated by this article, including, but not limited to, malt coolers at his or her established and licensed place of business.

     (20) "Tax Commissioner" means the Tax Commissioner of the State of West Virginia or the commissioner's designee. Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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