Category: Press Releases

Virginia Distillers Association Advocates for SB803

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Amy Ciarametaro
Virginia Distillers Association
amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Cell: 757.535.5829

If passed, Senate Bill 803 (SB803) is set to breathe new life into Virginia’s distilled spirits industry


February 19, 2018 – RICHMOND, VA, 
Senate Bill 803 proceeds through the Virginia General Assembly ranks as state legislators continue to evaluate whether or not they want to foster the Commonwealth’s burgeoning distilled spirits industry. Virginia is a control state for distilled spirits (but not for wine nor beer), which requires the state’s distilleries to operate as government ABC stores. This means Virginia distilleries have to sell their products using the state-imposed markup structure while shouldering 100 percent of the operational costs for a distillery store. SB803 will allow Virginia distilleries to keep the state-imposed markup for product that they sell onsite at distilleries, and as a result never moves through the state fulfillment system.

As of last week, the bill passed the full Senate floor, and will now proceed onward to the House for crossover. “Support from the Senate for commonsense legislation to advance fair policy for Virginia distillers, who are also Virginia farmers, Virginia employers in rural communities and drivers of Virginia’s tourism has been tremendous,” said Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) Government Affairs Director Curtis Coleburn.


SB803 Patron Senator Bryce Reeves identifies with many of the unique and excessive challenges faced by Virginia distillers. “We should be doing everything we can to promote and reward small businesses and their operators in Virginia – SB803 does just that. It allows distilleries to keep more of their well-earned proceeds,” explained Senator Reeves.


Distilled spirits are the only consumer good where our state government is an active market participant. 
In addition to the state-imposed markup which averages 69 percent but can be as high as 93 percent, Virginia adds on a 20 percent excise tax to all distilled spirits sales.Virginia has the second highest excise tax for distilled spirits in the nation, at 20 percent of the retail shelf price ($30.88/gal for distilled spirits for a bottle that retails for $30.59 excluding Virginia sales tax). On a per gallon basis, this is more than 19 times greater than the state excise tax on table wine ($1.51/gal), and 117 times greater than the state excise tax on beer ($0.26/gal). To better understand the economics of distilling and selling spirits in the Commonwealth, CLICK HERE for an overview. SB803 will allow distilleries to keep the state-imposed markup (averaging 69 percent but as high as 93 percent) for all sales at their distilleries; allowing them to reinvest in their businesses.

The markup formula how the state sells product is the same whether product is sold at distilleries, or at local ABC stores. Subsequently, distillery operators shoulder 100% percent of the expenses for operations (e.g. employees, overhead, credit card processing machines, etc.). In exchange, distillery store operators receive a commission of 8 percent of sales for product sold at distillery stores. That commission was formerly 15 percent, but was reduced to 0 percent, then 8 percent in 2015 by ABC. As a result, distillery stores render a higher rate of return to the Commonwealth at 40.52 percent vs. 35.03 percent for the state’s own government ABC stores.”See p. 34 of Virginia ABC’s 2017 fiscal report for further information. 

Additionally, distilleries have to purchase their own bottles to sample for consumers in their own tasting rooms. This means paying ABC’s markup and the state excise tax for bottles earmarked specifically for consumer sampling. Then 100 percent of all revenues have to be transferred to Virginia ABC (this includes both bottle samples and all consumer spirits sales) with profits being returned 30-60 days later, creating cash flow burdens.


“Managing on-site samples and sales is one of the most costly expenses for our distillery operations,” said Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek, in Purcellville. Catoctin Creek, like most Virginia distilleries, focuses on using Virginia agriculture as the foundation for their distilled spirits production. As the 
2018 Economic and Regulatory Analysis of Virginia’s Distilled Spirits Industrypoints out, more than 70 percent of all grains and agricultural products used in production of Virginia distilled spirits are sourced from Virginia farms. “As Virginia spirits sales continue to grow, the indirect effect on Virginia agriculture will undoubtedly increase as well,” Harris added.

Virginia distilleries are marketing tools that aide in the success of Virginia ABC. “When a consumer buys a bottle of Virginia spirits from my distillery, most subsequent purchases for that same product take place at Virginia ABC stores,” explains Gareth H. Moore of Virginia Distillery Company, in Lovingston, Virginia. “Everybody wins when Virginia distillery stores become profit centers for their operators. Our industry is at a tipping point for growth, where we have the potential to be a much greater driver for economic impact to the Commonwealth via excise taxes on all distilled spirits sales, tourism, and new investments to the state.”


House Patron Delegate Nick Freitas is continuing to advocate for support of this legislation as well. “Unfortunately, the Virginia tax code is thwarting growth {of the Virginia spirits industry} and punishing distillers by confiscating over 50 percent of their profits for bottles sold within their own distilleries,” said Delegate Freitas. “If we want this industry to be able to expand the way it should, we must address the markup structure and tax rates paid by distillery store operators.”

 

 

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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. For more information about the Virginia Distillers Association, visit www.VirginiaSpirits.org

Virginia Distillers Association Advocates for Legislative Support During the 2018 General Assembly Session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Laura Peet
Virginia Distiller Association
lpeet@peetcom.com
Cell:  917.860.6285

Members gather for second Annual Legislative Day to educate representatives and state officials about the unique and excessive challenges faced while unveiling economic impact study

 

January 30, 2018 – RICHMOND, VA  – “Growth does not necessarily equate to health,” said Amy Ciarametaro, Executive Director for the Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) while discussing the current state of the Virginia distilled spirits industry and the newly released 2018 Economic and Regulatory Analysis of Virginia’s Distilled Spirits Industry.

 

Highlights of the report:
  • In 2017, Virginia Distillers impact on the Virginia economy was more than $163 million.
  • Virginia Distillers employ nearly 1,500 individuals directly and indirectly.
  • Virginia Distillers attract some 297K tourists annually, who spent more than $43 million in 2017.
  • Virginia Distillers have grown by 433 percent since 2012.
  • Virginia Distilleries are projected to spend more than $85 million in capital investments in the Commonwealth over the next three years.

“This data paints an impressive initial picture, but when you analyze the numbers and the overall challenges of selling products through the state control system, it becomes clear that our industry’s health is fragile and Virginia distillers disproportionality fund state government,” said Ciarametaro.

“Recent growth has been spurred by national trends in the spirits sector, and is not a result of Virginia being business friendly to distillers,” Ciarametaro added.  “We want legislators to understand that with the support for common sense regulatory measures, Virginia can become the next ‘Kentucky or Tennessee,’ in terms of becoming a nationally recognized distilled spirits destination.”

On Thursday, January 25th, Virginia distillers gathered in Richmond to meet with Governor Ralph Northam (photo below) and 31 delegates, senators, state officials to champion support for the industry during their second Annual Legislative Day.

“Distilled spirits are the only consumer good where our state government is an active market participant,” said Gareth H. Moore, VDA President and CEO of Virginia Distillery Co.

Virginia distilleries are considered Virginia ABC stores, and as a result have to abide by the state markup structure including ABC’s 69 percent markup and 20 percent excise tax – regardless of whether the bottles are sold their distillery store, or at their local ABC store. Subsequently, distillery store operators shoulder 100 percent of the expenses for operations (e.g. employees, overhead, credit card processing machines, etc.).  In exchange, they receive a commission of 8 percent of sales for product sold at distillery stores. That commission was formerly 15 percent, but was reduced to 0 percent, then 8 percent in 2014 by ABC. As a result, even with the 8 percent commission distillery stores render a higher rate of return to the state at 40.52 percent vs. 35.03 percent for the state’s own government ABC stores.” See p. 34 of Virginia ABC’s 2017 fiscal report for further information.

Additionally, distilleries have to purchase their own bottles to sample for consumers in their own tasting room or at one of four special events they are licensed to participate in each year. This means paying ABC’s 69 percent markup and 20 percent excise tax for bottle samples on product that never leaves the production site. Then 100 percent of all revenues have to be transferred to Virginia ABC (including both bottle samples and all consumer sales) with profits being returned 30-60 days later , creating cash flow burdens.

“Managing on-site samples and sales is one of the most costly expenses for our distillery store operations,” said Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek. Catoctin Creek, like most Virginia distilleries, focuses on using Virginia agriculture as the foundation for their distilled spirits production.

The Economic Report also points out that more than 70 percent of all grains and agricultural products used in production of Virginia distilled spirits are sourced from Virginia farms. “As Virginia spirits sales continue to grow, the indirect effect on Virginia agriculture will undoubtedly increase as well,” Harris added.

Virginia has the second highest excise tax for distilled spirits in the nation, at 20 percent of the retail shelf price ($30.88/gal for distilled spirits for a bottle that retails for $30.59 excluding Virginia sales tax). On a per gallon basis, this is more than 19 times greater than the state excise tax on table wine ($1.51/gal), and 117 times greater than the state excise tax on beer ($0.26/gal).

The Virginia Distillers Association is following several bills closely throughout the 2018 general assembly session. “We’re eager for conversations with the new administration and our friends at Virginia ABC about how fiscal support may play out, whether it involves increasing the commission, removing the markup on sample bottles or other fiscal vehicles is to be determined,” said Moore.

“If the Commonwealth plays its cards right, and shows fiscal support for the industry – we can all capitalize on the momentum from growth within the national spirits sector,” said Ciarametaro. “The economic impact generated from the excise taxes and tourism alone will offset any fiscal asks as a net even to the state as early as one year from enacting the legislation. After that, the stage is set for the industry to become more sustainable and a major economic driver for years to come.”

 

Distillers from across the Commonwealth meet Governor Ralph Northam on January 25, 2018 to advocate for regulatory support for the distilled spirits industry during the Virginia Distillers Association’s second Annual Legislative Day. CLICK HERE to download the release image. Please credit Revel Photography Co.

Left to right, first row: Paul Pimentil of Chesapeake Bay Distillery, Vince Riggi of Belle Isle Craft Spirits, Governor Ralph Northam, Amy Ciarametaro of the Virginia Distillers Association, Eric Stevens of RD Wilhelm Distilling, Karl Dornemann of RD Wilhelm Distilling. Left to right, second row: Secretary Bettina Ring of Virginia Agriculture and Forestry, Ian Glomski of Vitae Spirits, Christopher Markham of Eight Shires Coloniale American Distillery. Left to right, third row: Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery, Maureen Reed of the Virginia Distillers Association, Curtis Coleburn of the Virginia Distillers Association. Left to right, fourth row: Gregg Brooks of Belle Isle Craft Spirits, Sarah Lamb of Ragged Branch Distillery, Ellie Barber of Ragged Branch Distillery, Chris Richeson of Chesapeake Bay Distillery. Left to right, fifth row: Gareth H. Moore of Virginia Distillery Company (and VDA President), Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek (and VDA Board Member), Bill Karlson of KO Distilling (and VDA Board Member). Left to right, sixth row: Jerry Heddy of Virginia Distillery Company, Stephen King of Ironclad Distillery, Robert Shenk of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery, and Will Dawson of Boar Creek Whiskey (and VDA Vice-President).

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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. For more information about the Virginia Distillers Association, visit www.VirginiaSpirits.org

 

Virginia Distillers Association Presents The Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow: Holiday Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Amy Ciarametaro
Phone: (757) 535-5829
Email: amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Contact Laura Peet for press credentials (info below)

Second of five spirited festivals offers gifting solutions for the naughty AND nice!

 

November 28, 2017 – RICHMOND, VA –             
‘Tis weeks before Holidays,
and Commonwealth-wide,
holiday shoppers are seeking
the ideal gift-giving guide.
Whether a gift for the tree
or last-minute host,
a gift of Virginia spirits,
will be the favorite of most.

Calling all spirits enthusiasts… the holidays are here and for those looking for gifting ideas, holiday cocktails to serve, or the ideal sip to celebrate solo, the Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) is announcing that second stop on their inaugural 
Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow will be December 16, 2017 at A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg, Virginia (click HERE for a video overview of the event).

Eight Virginia distilleries will gather together to offer last minute solutions for stocking stuffers, business gifts, hospitality treats, or festive cocktails and punches that are ideal for holiday entertaining. The event will also feature a Virginia brewery, band, local BBQ and pizza vendors, and regional artisans. Patrons who purchase three or more bottles of Virginia Spirits at the event will receive a special holiday tote that they can use for gifting, or enjoy for themselves (while supplies last).


To help support those in need during the holidays, the VDA is partnering with the 
Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank to collect non-perishable donations during the event. Consumers that contribute to the food drive at the event will receive an extra tasting ticket for one additional sample of any spirit or beer they choose.

“Our first Roadshow – which celebrated 
Women Who Whiskey – was a tremendous success,” said Gareth H. Moore, VDA President and CEO of Virginia Distillery Company where the Roadshow made its first stop. “Hundreds of consumers – women and men – spent the afternoon chatting with distillers, sampling home grown spirits and enjoying local food and music. It was a great way to kick off the Roadshow, while also raising money for the Nelson County Domestic Violence Task Force.

“The next stop for the Roadshow is timely, as we’ll be able to help make sure that not only are spirits bright during this holiday season, but those spirits are also Virginian,” Moore added.


Over the next several months, the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow will crisscross the state inviting consumers to celebrate the best that Virginia Spirits has to offer, and meet 
Virginia distillers firsthand.

In addition to craft spirits – available for sipping and sale –  the festival will feature delicious cocktails, local beers, food trucks, other local artisan vendors and performances by area musicians. For a complete roadshow schedule click 
here.

Distilleries participating in the December 16th ‘Roadshow’ Holiday Tour:
A. Smith Bowman
Belle Isle Craft Spirits
Catoctin Creek Distilling
Chesapeake Bay Distillery
Ironclad Distillery
James River Distillery
KO Distilling
Virginia Distillery Company

Featured brewery:
Blue Mountain Brewery

Participating food vendors:
Balsamo’s Wood Fired Pizza
BCS BBQ

Additional artisan vendors:
Cocoa & Spice (chocolates)
Ricks Roasters Coffee Company
Emerald Bee Soaps
Juanita Atkinson Art

Musical performances by the Bruce Middle Band

The December 16th Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow: Holiday Tour, is sponsored by:
The Virginia Distillers Association
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
Spotsylvania Department of Economic Development & Tourism
 
Event Details:
WHEN: Saturday, December 16, 2017, 1-5pm
LOCATION:  A. Smith Bowman, 1 Bowman Drive, Fredericksburg, VA
TICKETS:  $25 in advance + processing fee, $32 at the door
PRESS CREDENTIALS: Laura Peet, PeetCom Inc, lpeet@peetcom.com, 917.860.6285
 

 

Virginia ABC Hosting a Record Number of In-Store Tastings in September

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 28, 2017

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Contact: Meghan McMahon
Phone: (804) 213-4640
Email: meghan.mcmahon@abc.virginia.gov

As a celebration of Virginia Spirits Month and National Bourbon Heritage Month, Virginia ABC is planning hundreds of events

RICHMOND – With cooler temperatures arriving and leaves painting colorful landscapes, September marks the start of fall, as well as the celebration of Virginia Spirits Month and National Bourbon Heritage Month. To mark 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 include them in their weekend plans,” 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.”

Tasting Events

  • 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.

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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.

Web:  www.abc.virginia.gov
Facebook and Twitter:
@VirginiaABC

Congressional Reps Tour Virginia Distilleries to Talk Federal Tax Reform

Media Contacts: 
Amy Ciarametaro
Virginia Distillers Association
amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Cell: 757.535.5829

Efforts demonstrate potential impact of Federal Excise Tax reform on Virginia Jobs, Virginia Tourism and Virginia Agriculture.

Richmond, VA (September 26, 2017) – For Virginia’s craft distillers, Tax Reform is not just a plank in a political platform, but an issue that is critical to the future of the industry. To bring the point home, members of the Virginia Distillers Association partnered with the Distilled Spirits Council to host Virginia Congressional representatives for tours and tastings at distilleries all across the state in an effort to inform legislators on the ways in which craft distillers will reinvest tax dollars into the Commonwealth through tax reform.

“Local distillery tours educate members of Congress about the important role these small businesses play in creating jobs, boosting tourism and supporting agriculture,” said Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz.  “Lawmaker visits afford distillers an opportunity to demonstrate how the excessive tax burden on distilled spirits negatively impacts their businesses and communities, while urging support for our federal excise tax reduction bill, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 747/S.236).”

On August 23rd, Congressman Tom Garrett, who is one of the co-sponsors of the bill visited Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville.  “Over the past several years, the fifth district has uniquely benefited by becoming home to numerous craft distilleries,” said Congressman Garrett.  “These have led to hundreds of well-paying jobs and attracted thousands of visitors each year. H.R .747 alleviates an over burdensome tax code and allows these dollars to stay at home.” During the visit, the Congressman asked questions about how federal excess tax on distilled spirits affects the growth and sustainability for Virginia craft distilleries. “Congressman Garret clearly cares about serving his constituents,” said Rick Wasmund, Master Distiller, Copper Fox Distillery.  “Through our discussion we were able to make it clear that tax relief as proposed will lead to increased expansion of our enterprise, more and better employment opportunities and greatly increase our chances of long term success.”

Congressman Scott Taylor joined Virginia distillers for a tour and sit-down at Chesapeake Bay Distillery in Virginia Beach on August 28th. “Virginia distilleries represent an industry that can be a much greater economic generator for the Commonwealth,” said Congressman Scott Taylor.  “As a co-sponsor of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, I believe in softening some of the excessive economic burdens faced by Virginia distilleries, so the industry can expand. These guys are supporters of Virginia jobs, Virginia tourism and Virginia agriculture.”  Chris Richeson is a managing member for Chesapeake Bay Distillery and expressed that FET reform is essential to the growth of our craft industry. Richeson elaborated, “Reducing the federal excise tax will free cash flow to spur further capital investment, allow for marketing dollars to promote our products and industry, and provide for payroll increases to our incredibly hardworking staff.”

The last visit for the tour is scheduled with Congressman Bob Goodlatte, on October 2nd at the River Hill Distillery in Luray. Media are welcomed to attend. Please RSVP per the below instructions. In addition, below you will find additional information on the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.

MEDIA ALERT: Congressman Bob Goodlatte will be visiting River Hill Distillery
When: Monday, October 2, 2017, 12-1pm.
Address: 356 Ruffners Ferry Rd, Luray, VA 22835.
RSVP: Media partners should RSVP in advance to Amy Ciarametaro (amy@vadistillersassociation.org)

Overview of the Proposed FET Reform / Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act:
The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R.-747 / S.-236) is intended to create fair and equitable federal tax structure for distillers if passed. The proposed legislation will reduce FET burdens for distillers to as follows:

  • Establishing a reduced rate of $2.70 per proof gallon for the first 100,000 proof gallons of distilled spirits produced or imported annually for spirits.
  • Establishing a rate of $13.34 per proof gallon for the next 22,130,000 proof gallons of distilled spirits.
  • Keeping the excise tax rate of $13.50 per proof gallon for production in excess of 22,230,000 proof gallons.

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ABOUT THE VIRGINIA DISTILLERS ASSOCIATION (VDA): The VDA is a nonprofit private trade association focused on the regulatory and legislative needs of the industry; as well as promotional efforts to increase awareness of Virginia’s growing craft spirits industry.

Virginia Distillers Association Kicks Off Craft Spirits Roadshow

Media Contacts: 
Amy Ciarametaro
Virginia Distillers Association
amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Cell: 757.535.5829
Contact Laura Peet for press credentials (info below)

First of Five Festivals Celebrates Women Who Whiskey

October 31, 2017 – RICHMOND, VA – Calling all Spirits Enthusiasts!  Building on the success of September is Virginia Spirits Month, the Virginia Distillers Association is announcing the first stop on its inaugural Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow will be November 18, 2017 at the Virginia Distillery Company in Lovingston, VA.

Eight distilleries will gather together and raise a glass to Women Who Whiskey — a celebration of Virginia Whiskey, the women who love it and the men who love them both. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of bottles at the event will be donated to the Nelson County Domestic Violence Task Force.

“Our recent ‘September is Virginia Spirits Month’ promotion, which boosted sales during the month by 70 percent, showed there is a real taste for home grown spirits,” said Gareth H. Moore, VDA President and CEO of Virginia Distillery Company where the Roadshow makes its first stop. “Over the next several months, the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow will crisscross the state inviting consumers to join us as we celebrate the best that Virginia Spirits has to offer.”

In addition to craft whiskeys – available for sipping and sale –  the festival will feature delicious cocktails, local beers, food trucks, other local artisan vendors and performances by area musicians. The first 100 women through the gate will receive a free tote bag.  For a complete roadshow schedule click here.

“Whiskey is no longer the sole property of men,” said Kara King, Ironclad Distillery. “Whether it’s due to the influence of Virginia’s unique terroir, pairing with favorite foods, or just the delicious taste which is ideal neat, on the rocks or in cocktails, more and more women are drinking America’s native spirit – and we’re also making it!”

Distilleries participating in the November 18 festival are A. Smith Bowman, Belle Isle Craft Spirits, Belmont Farm Distillery, Chesapeake Bay Distillery, Ironclad Distillery, KO Distilling, Virginia Distillery Company and Vitae Spirits Distillery.

 

Event Details:

WHEN:   Saturday, November 18, 2017, 1-5pm

LOCATION:   Virginia Distillery Company, 299 Eades Lane Lovingston, VA

TICKETS: $25 in advance +processing fee (CLICK HERE), $32 at the door

PRESS CREDENTIALS:   Laura Peet, PeetCom Inc, lpeet@peetcom.com917.860.6285

For a high-resolution image, click here. Please credit: the Virginia Distillers Association

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ABOUT THE VIRGINIA DISTILLERS ASSOCIATION (VDA): The VDA is a nonprofit private trade association focused on the regulatory and legislative needs of the industry; as well as promotional efforts to increase awareness of Virginia’s growing craft spirits industry.

First Annual Virginia Spirits Festival to take place at the Passenger Bar, in Washington DC on Sat. September 30th

Media Contacts: 
Amy Ciarametaro
Virginia Distillers Association
amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Cell: 757.535.5829

Daniel Kramer
Craft Hospitality
daniel@crafthospitality.com
Cell: 310.926.9920

In celebration of September Virginia Spirits Month, 14 Virginia distilleries are participating in the Virginia Spirits Festival on September 30th at The Passenger Bar in Washington D.C.
 
Guests will enjoy tastings of almost 30 Virginia spirits while they interact with distillers and learn about Virginia’s distilling heritage. This intimate experience showcases specially selected, premium craft spirits at one of D.C.’s best cocktail bars!
 
Participating Distilleries / Vendors:
A Smith Bowman Distillery / Belle Isle Craft Spirits / Belmont Farms Distillery / Boar Creek Whiskey / Catoctin Creek Distillery / Chesapeake Bay Distillery / Cirrus Vodka / Filibuster Bourbon Distillery / Five Mile Mountain DistilleryJames River Distillery / KO Distilling / MurLarkey Distilled Spirits / Reservoir Distillery / Virginia Distillery Company / Vitae Spirits / Keep It Simple Syrup®

The Virginia Spirits Festival is jointly hosted by the Virginia Distillers AssociationCraft HospitalityThe Passenger and Modern Liquors. Guests can meet distillers face-to-face to learn about their products and inspirations, and VIP ticket holders gain early access. All spirit tastings are included in the ticket. All featured spirits will also be available for sale in bottle format courtesy of Modern Liquors. Tickets begin at $25.
 
For more information, visit:
Website
Facebook event page
Eventbrite ticket page
Hashtag: #VaSpiritsFest

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For a high-resolution image, CLICK HERE. Please credit the Virginia Distillers Association if utilized.

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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. For more information about the Virginia Distillers Association, visit www.VirginiaSpirits.org

Sales of Virginia Spirits During Virginia Spirits Month Up 53%

Media Contact: 
Amy Ciarametaro
Virginia Distillers Association
amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Cell: 757.535.5829

 

Effort to raise awareness of Virginia distilled spirits increases sales at halfway point

 
Richmond, VA (September 20, 2017) – Consumers are excited about Virginia Spirits, and the preliminary sales figures prove it. Midway through the September Virginia Spirits Month program, sales of Virginia Spirits have already topped last year’s figures by 53 percent.
 
This year marks the second annual celebration of this partnership among Virginia ABC, the Virginia Distillers Association and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. The celebration aims to educate consumers and tourists about Virginia distilled spirits.
 
“Virginia spirits bring a local, delicious and historic flavor to our shelves, and customers love supporting local businesses,” said Virginia ABC Chairman Jeffrey Painter. “The Virginia is for Lovers trucker hat, which is complimentary with each purchase of Virginia spirits at 20 stores across the Commonwealth, is hugely successful again this year, thanks to our partnership with the Virginia Distillers Association and Virginia Tourism Corporation.”
 
“Whiskies, vodkas, gins, and other spirits made across the Commonwealth offer significant heritage, and our distillers have a wealth of knowledge to share with consumers eager for information about the products they are enjoying,” said Gareth H. Moore, Virginia Distillers Association President and CEO of the Virginia Distillery Company. “The slate of programs and events we have put together for the month is diverse and engaging, and judging by the results of just the first two weeks, it’s clear that consumers agree.”
 
Virginia Spirits Month is a month-long program in September to drive education, tastings, and sales so that consumers and visitors can experience the diversity and quality of Virginia’s home-grown spirits. Promotions include sampling opportunities at restaurants and VABC stores, launch of the Meet Virginia Makers video series, and the complimentary Virginia is for Lovers trucker hat as a free gift with the purchase of any bottle of Virginia spirits at select Virginia ABC stores while supplies last. A complete list of events and promotions may be found at http://www.virginiaspirits.org/september/

For a high-resolution image, CLICK HERE. Please credit the Virginia Distillers Association if utilized.

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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. For more information about the Virginia Distillers Association, visit www.VirginiaSpirits.org

September Virginia Spirits Month 2017 Boosts Sales of Virginia Distilled Spirits by 70%

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2017
 
PRESS RELEASE
Virginia Distillers Association

CONTACT: AMY CIARAMETARO
757.535.5829 | amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Photos Included Below 

September Virginia Spirits Month 2017 Boosts Sales of Virginia Distilled Spirits by 70%

 Through statewide partnerships, September Virginia Spirits Month skyrocketed sales and educated consumers about Virginia’s finest distilled craft spirits.

Richmond, VA (October 18, 2017) – The numbers are in, and a partnership among the Virginia Governor’s Office, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), Virginial ABC (ABC) and the Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) which proclaimed September as Virginia Spirits Month has succeeded beyond expectations, lifting sales of Virginia distilled spirits by 70 percent over the same period last year.  According to Virginia ABC, September 2017 sales at distilleries increased by 70.2% and in-store sales were up 53.5% over September last year.

“Virginia Spirits Month was a tremendous success, yielding tangible results for our distilling industry, consumers, and the many partners in between, from restaurants to state government,” said Gareth H. Moore, VDA President and CEO of Virginia Distillery Company. “The results are proof positive that partnering with organizations like Virginia ABC and VTC can create economic benefits both now and for many years to come.”

Highlights of the September Virginia Spirits Month campaign included:

  • Meet Virginia Makers video series supported by workshops and tastings to drive traffic to distilleries
  • Promotions with more than 60 Virginia restaurants who highlighted Virginia spirits craft cocktails in their beverage programs
  • Complimentary “Virginia is for Lovers” trucker hats with any bottle purchase of Virginia spirits at 20 select ABC stores
  • Largescale consumer festivals such as the Virginia Craft Spirits Showcase

Governor Terry McAuliffe ended the month with a spirited celebration at Virginia’s Executive Mansion (photos below). “The distilled spirits industry has played a role in Virginia’s economy for hundreds of years and today it continues to support our farmers and tourism industry, creating jobs in every corner of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe, who officially proclaimed September as Virginia Spirits Month. “I am pleased to see our homegrown distilled spirits companies develop into national leaders and I congratulate them on their contributions to our new Virginia economy. I hope my fellow Virginians join me in raising a glass to the proud history and bright future of the spirits industry in the Commonwealth.”

 

For high-resolution images from the September Virginia Spirits Month celebration at the Executive Mansion, CLICK HERE. Please credit Michaele White, and the Virginia Governor’s Office if utilized.

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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. For more information about the Virginia Distillers Association, visit www.VirginiaSpirits.org

The Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow: Virginia Spirits are for Lovin’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2018

PRESS RELEASE
Virginia Distillers Association

CONTACT: AMY CIARAMETARO
757.535.5829 | amy@vadistillersassociation.org
Photos Included Below 

 

Virginia Distillers Association Presents
The Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow:
Virginia Spirits are for Lovin’

Third of five spirited festivals celebrates Virginia’s Love of Local Spirits

January 16, 2018 – RICHMOND, VA With Valentines’ Day drawing near… Love is in the air. For those who love Virginia and all it has to offer … spirits, food and crafts … the Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) is announcing that the third stop on their inaugural Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow will be February 10, 2018 at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

Eight Virginia distilleries, plus Norfolk’s Smartmouth Brewery, will gather together to celebrate the great marriage of Virginia grains and the waterways which played a critical component in the history behind Virginia’s award-winning spirits. Guest can sip on spirits neat, and also enjoy those same spirits as craft cocktails while engaging with Virginia distillers firsthand. Area restaurants (Southern Supper Morsels / Norfolk, Gosport Tavern / Portsmouth, Public House / Norfolk, Still / Portsmouth) will offer delicious southern foods to pair with featured cocktails – all in the backdrop of the exquisite Mariner’s Museum.

“Our first two Roadshows have been a great success,” said Gareth H. Moore, VDA President and CEO of Virginia Distillery Company. “Consumers from Lovingston to Fredericksburg spent hours chatting with distillers, sampling home grown spirits and enjoying local food. We’re thrilled to have the chance to bring the fun to lovers of all-things-local in Southeastern Virginia.”

“More than a chance to taste great spirits and learn about Virginia’s thriving distilled spirits industry, our Roadshow event also makes a great pre-Valentine’s Day Date Night,” said VDA Executive Director Amy Ciarametaro. “We’re even offering a special couples discount on tickets.”

Over the next several months, the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow will crisscross the state inviting consumers to celebrate the best that Virginia Spirits has to offer, and meet Virginia distillers firsthand.

In addition to craft spirits and craft cocktails – available for sipping, sharing and sale – the festival will feature local beers, and delicious food courtesy of Prime Eats Restaurant Group. For a complete roadshow schedule click here.

Distilleries participating in the December 16th Holiday Tour:

Food courtesy of Prime Eats Restaurant Group:

Beer courtesy of:
Smartmouth Brewing (Norfolk / Virginia Beach)

The Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow: Virginia Spirits are for Lovin’ is sponsored by:  The Virginia Distillers Association & Mariner’s Museum and Park

Event Details:

WHEN: Saturday, February 10, 2018, 4-8pm

LOCATION: Mariner’s Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA 23606

TICKETS: Ideal for couples! Tickets are $25 for one; $45 for two or $60 for three; designated driver $20.

PRESS CREDENTIALS: Laura Peet, PeetCom Inc, lpeet@peetcom.com , 917.860.6285

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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. For more information about the Virginia Distillers Association, visit www.VirginiaSpirits.org