Congressman picks up brewery battle in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Congress is stepping into a local brewing company’s battle with the Navy. Last year, Young Veterans Brewing Company expanded their location near Oceana.

The Navy told them a restrictive easement meant they couldn’t have onsite entertainment. That meant no TVs and no music, not even an iPod. Congressman Scott Taylor took their complaints to Congress.

Navy regulations stunt local brewery growth

“I decided, ‘All right well let me stop by here and have a beer and see what is going on,'” Taylor said.

Congressman Taylor talked to 10 On Your Side via Skype. He said he went over the restrictions on businesses near naval bases. Young Veterans ran into a problem with what the Navy defined as entertainment.

“The Navy basically interpreted it in a way that says they can’t even have Pandora in the background,” Taylor said.

Taylor says he got to Washington D.C. and eventually met with high ranking Navy officials on the subject.

“I emerged from the briefing, definitely believing that some of the language is antiquated,” he said. “It doesn’t reflect some of the businesses of today.”

After those meetings, the Navy responded. In a letter, the Rear Admiral for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic wrote to Taylor: “The conclusion remains that television and music played for the benefit of patrons is a recreational activity that is prohibited under easement restrictions.”

Taylor said he remains undeterred. He said the next step is to work through Congress.

“Work the language in a way that reflects how businesses are run today,” Taylor said. “In that change maybe the military gets a commitment from the community or the state.”

Taylor said he wants to find a balance that helps the Young Veterans and doesn’t interfere with the Navy.

WAVY News spoke with Young Veteran’s brewing company. They said it wouldn’t be in their best interest to comment right now.