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September is Virginia Spirits Month

August 29, 2019

News Release Contact:

Taylor Thornberg / Amy Ciarametaro - (804) 921-5163 / (757) 535-5829
Email: taylor.thornberg@abc.virginia.gov / amy@virginiaspirits.org

Governor Northam Kicks Off Fourth Annual September Virginia Spirits Month Campaign and Launches Virginia Spirits Trail

Virginia Spirits Month

Collaborative effort among the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, Virginia Distillers Association and Virginia Tourism Corporation continues support for burgeoning distilled spirits industry.

August 29, 2019 – MOUNT VERNON, VA, Governor Ralph Northam joined more than 20 Virginia distilleries for the kickoff to September Virginia Spirits Month at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery. The fourth annual month-long campaign to support sales and education for Virginia’s craft spirits industry also celebrates the 400th anniversary of distilled spirits production in the United States, which began with Virginia colonist George Thorpe distilling the first batch of corn whiskey in 1620. “Virginia is the birthplace of American Spirits, and our distilleries continue to represent one of the fastest growing sectors of our booming beverage industry,” said Governor Northam. “I am proud to celebrate Virginia Spirits Month and the important contributions of our high-quality distilled spirits to the Commonwealth’s rich history and thriving economy.”   

Since the first year of the campaign, September sales at Virginia ABC stores and distillery stores have grown by 85 percent. “Virginia ABC is proud to carry more than 200 Virginia-made spirits crafted in distilleries across the Commonwealth,” said Travis Hill, CEO of Virginia ABC. “September being Virginia Spirits Month is a great opportunity to highlight the success of this industry in Virginia, and show our support for Virginia distillers and the contributions they make to the economy and tourism industry.”

The 2019 September Virginia Spirits Month campaign coincides with the launch of the Virginia Spirits Trail and Passport Program, sponsored by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC). In addition to sharing the history of Virginia’s distilled spirits, the Virginia Spirits Trail provides tourists with a map detailing the locations of the 28 participating Virginia distilleries. A passport program encourages multiple visits and gives spirited travelers a free trail T-shirt once they visit 10 distilleries, with no purchase necessary. Consumers can download a digital copy of the trail or request the printed version by visiting VirginiaSpirits.org.  

“As we kick-off Virginia Spirits Month, I can think of no better time to celebrate the launch of the Virginia Spirits Trail,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of VTC. “This is an important new product development for the tourism industry in Virginia, as visitors from around the world will be able to sip premier spirits across the commonwealth. This trail is an important and exciting addition to our culinary scene and will show travelers that some of the best things made in Virginia come in a bottle. We can’t wait for travelers to discover for themselves why Virginia is for Spirits Lovers.”

The Virginia Spirits Trail was also made possible through support from Virginia Hop On Tours, which provides customizable tours and reliable transportation for spirited visitors.  

Additional highlights taking place September Virginia Spirits Month:

  • Virginia Spirits Day – On September 5, 10 featured Virginia-made spirits will be priced 20% off in all Virginia ABC stores and online at www.abc.virginia.gov. The discount will also be available at respective distillery stores.
  • Almost 400 in-store tastings will feature Virginia distillers at ABC stores statewide. See the full list of tastings.
  • Additional discounts and special product offerings. See the full list of month long discounts.
  • Virginia Spirits Roadshows will offer samplings and a chance to speak with local distillers:
              9/14 — Richmond at the Virginia War Memorial
              9/21 — Alexandria at the Building Momentum Co-op Space
              9/28 — Fredericksburg at A. Smith Bowman Distillery

“Distilleries are a rapidly growing part of Virginia’s economy and are helping define Virginia as a beverage destination,” said Gareth H. Moore, VDA President and CEO of Virginia Distillery Co. “Virginia Spirits Month provides an opportunity for consumers to connect with our industry and broaden awareness.”

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ABOUT THE VIRGINIA DISTILLERS ASSOCIATION (VDA): The VDA is a nonprofit private trade association focused on promotional efforts to increase awareness of Virginia’s growing craft spirits industry, as well as the regulatory and legislative needs of the industry. The Virginia spirits industry represents over $163 million in economic impact to Commonwealth, hosts over 300 thousand visitors annually to state distilleries, and supports almost 1,500 Virginia jobs.  
Web: www.VirginiaSpirits.org     
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @VirginiaSpirits / @VaSpirits

ABOUT THE VIRGINIA TOURISM CORPORATION (VTC): Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) strives to serve the broader interests of the economy of Virginia by supporting, maintaining and expanding the Commonwealth’s domestic and international inbound tourism and motion picture production industries in order to increase visitor expenditures, tax revenues and employment. Last year, visitors to Virginia spent $26 billion, which supported 234,000 jobs and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.
Web: www.Virginia.org
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @VisitVa / @VirginiaisforLovers

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.2 billion to the general fund in the last five years. Virginia ABC currently operates 381 state stores, and provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 19,000 ABC licensed establishments. Now marking its 85th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.
Web: www.abc.virginia.gov    
Facebook and Twitter: @VirginiaABC

Download a copy of the Virginia Spirits Trail.
Download a digital copy of the Virginia Spirits Trail & Passport.


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