The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is once again partnering with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) in celebrating September as Virginia Spirits Month. This designation recognizes the commonwealth’s rich history of spirits and spotlights more than 100 licensed distilleries that call the state home.
The commonwealth is the Birthplace of American Spirits. In 1620, during the early Jamestown settlement days, George Thorpe – after being introduced to corn by the regional indigenous people – used the crop in place of barley to distill the first batch of American whiskey. George Washington, the first president of the United States, went on to become the biggest producer of Virginia whiskey during his time.
Virginia’s distilled spirits industry is a major contributor to the commonwealth’s economy. In 2017, the industry maintained nearly 1,500 full time jobs and had an economic impact of more than $163 million. Virginia distilleries have also become popular agritourism destinations as they attract thousands of visitors each year.
Virginia distillers source more than 70% of their ingredients from Virginia farms, including corn, wheat, barley, rye, potatoes and fruits. Distillers in the state also source finishing components such as new barrels and bottles or used cider, wine and beer barrels.
Virginia ABC will also honor this special month with “Virginia Spirits Sale-A-Bration.”
Throughout September, customers can save 20% on 132 select Virginia-made products, all of which are subject to availability. The Sale-A-Bration will not have a purchase limit.
For more information on Virginia Spirits Month and Virginia-made products, visit https://www.abc.virginia.gov/products/virginia-products.