It’s 5-O-Clock for 30 Days – September is Virginia Spirits Month

Media Contacts:
Laura Peet, PeetCom Inc.

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority

It’s 5-O-Clock for 30 Days – September is Virginia Spirits Month
Third-annual month-long celebration highlights #VirginiaSpirits and #VASpiritsMonth

August 29, 2018 (RICHMOND) — Governor Ralph Northam today declared September as Virginia Spirits Month, marking the third annual celebration designed to educate consumers and travelers about Virginia distilled spirits.

“Virginia is the birthplace of American spirits, and our 70 licensed distilleries are a part of the fastest growing sector of the beverage business,” said Governor Ralph Northam.  “Distilleries brought more than $163 million into our economy in 2017, and September is the ideal time to celebrate the rich history and important economic impact of this vital industry.”

This annual, month-long celebration is a partnership between the Virginia Distillers Association, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Authority and Virginia Tourism Corporation designed to educate consumers about the wide variety of spirits produced in the commonwealth, while raising awareness of the contributions of the Virginia craft spirits industry to our local economy. 

Additional Spirited Facts:
  • Virginia has over 70 licensed distilleries; more than Kentucky or Tennessee.
  • Virginia distillers produce every category of spirit, from whiskey, gin and brandy, to vodka, absinthe and rum.
  • Virginia’s craft spirits industry employs approximately 1,500 Virginians.
  • More than 70 percent of the grains and fruits used to produce Virginia distilled spirits are grown in Virginia.
“Virginia ABC’s shelves are full of Virginia-made spirits from distillers who bring a local and, always outstanding, historic flavor to our customers,” said Virginia ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “Our distillers are vibrant contributors to the commonwealth’s economy and our partnership with Virginia distillers during the year, and particularly during this September campaign, gives us many opportunities to show what Virginia has to offer.”

“The spirit of cooperation with our partners at Virginia ABC extends beyond the 30 days of September,” said Gareth Moore, President VDA. “Virginia ABC’s leadership recognizes the challenges that we face as spirited entrepreneurs, and we look forward to working together to benefit Virginia distilleries, Virginia ABC and Virginia tax payers.”

It’s 5’o-clock for 30 days … highlights of the month-long celebration:
  • The Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow – September 15 at A. Smith Bowman Distillery from noon – 5 p.m.
  • Customers will receive a complimentary Virginia is for Spirit Lovers tote with the purchase of any 750ml bottle of Virginia Spirits at select Virginia ABC stores while supplies last.
  • Distillers will offer complimentary tastings at Virginia ABC stores.
  • 30+ ‘How To’ cocktail videos will be featured on the Virginia Spirits Facebook page and other social media channels throughout September.
  • Participating distilleries around the state will be offering special events, tours, tastings and featured cocktails.
Additional Resources:
  • Virtual Virginia Spirits Trail helps culinary and beverage travelers plan their trips to Virginia’s distilleries. Users can search distilleries by region and spirit category.
  • Meet Virginia Makers distillers’ series on YouTube, featuring interviews and stories with 22 of Virginia’s distillers and artisan spirits producers.
  • Campaign logo

Kickoff to September Virginia Spirits Month event at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (August 29, 2018). PHOTO CREDIT: Revel Photo Co. Left to right: Amy Ciarametaro Executive Director of Virginia Distillers Association, Chris Canfield Vice President Virginia Tourism Corporation, Rick Wasmund Master Distiller for Copper Fox Distillery, Travis Hill CEO of Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, Gareth Moore Virginia Distillers Association President and CEO of Virginia Distillery Company, Bettina Ring Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. Back row, Virginia distillery representatives from 20 distilleries. CLICK HERE for high resolution photograph from the event.


CLICK HERE to download the campaign logo.

High-resolution photos of a variety of Virginia spirits with the free tote available HERE (front and back).

Virginia Spirits General Use Photography. CLICK HERE for high resolution. PHOTO CREDIT: Revel Photo Co.

The Virginia Distillers Association 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:

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.1 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 374 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 17,000 ABC licensed establishments. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now marking its 84
th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia. Web:, Facebook and Twitter: @VirginiaABC