As a celebration of National Bourbon Heritage Month and Virginia Spirits Month, Virginia ABC is planning hundreds of events
With cooler temperatures arriving and leaves painting colorful landscapes, September marks the start of fall, as well as the celebration of National Bourbon Heritage Month and Virginia Spirits Month. To honor the occasions, Virginia ABC will host 683 free, in-store tastings across the commonwealth, which is an increase of 60 percent (256 tastings) over the number of tastings held in September 2016.
“Our entire community of suppliers, along with the Virginia Distillers Association, increased their involvement in our tasting events to make this month’s celebrations even more significant. The tastings are scheduled in advance so customers can identify products they may want to try,” said Virginia ABC Chairman Jeffrey Painter. “Not only can customers try out different spirits, but in some cases they can talk to the distillers themselves.”
•The tastings are a staple for many Virginia ABC stores on weekends throughout the year. They are free and open to patrons 21 years of age and older.
•224 of September’s tastings will feature Virginia products, including bourbon, whiskey, moonshine, vodka, gin and rum.
•378 of September’s tastings will offer samples of bourbon/American whiskey, including those made in Virginia and Jim Beam Black Label Straight Bourbon, the best-selling bourbon in Virginia.
•On average, stores across the commonwealth hold 500 tastings each month. September’s 683 events is a 36 percent increase of the monthly average.
•To find a tasting, visit the Virginia ABC website: www.abc.virginia.gov/stores/tastings.
In 2007, the US Senate declared September as National Bourbon Heritage Month which bolstered the 1964 Act of Congress declaring bourbon “America’s Native Spirit.” In 2016, the Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) began its annual celebration of Virginia Spirits Month in September. This year, VDA has multiple events and is launching a new Virtual Virginia Spirits Trail, which can be found at www.virginiaspirits.org.
Virginia ABC invites social media followers to share photos of how they’re celebrating Virginia Spirits Month and National Bourbon Heritage Month responsibly using the hashtags #VAspiritsmonth and #VAbourbon. The @VirginiaABC handles will highlight one photo or story each week.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 368 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. ABC is committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.