When small business and government work together with a common goal, good things can happen. And in this case they did, big time.
Earlier this month we shared a story likening the start of the second annual Virginia Spirits Month to ringing the opening bell on Wall Street. Well, now that the month is over it’s time to ring the closing bell. The only trouble is you may not hear the closing bell over the sound of cash registers ringing out across the state as sales of distilled craft spirits spiked with a whopping 70% increase in sales over the previous year.
Partnership Pays Off for Distillers and Consumers
The partnership among the Virginia Governor’s Office, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), Virginia ABC (ABC) and the Virginia Distillers Association which proclaimed September as Virginia Spirits Month has succeeded beyond expectations, lifting sales of Virginia distilled spirits. 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.
The second annual Virginia Spirits Month is a month-long program used to drive education, tastings, and sales so that consumers and visitors can experience the diversity and quality of Virginia’s home-grown spirits. Promotions included sampling opportunities at more than 60 restaurants and Virginia ABC stores, launch of the Meet Virginia Makers video series, a 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 and the Virginia Craft Spirits Showcase consumer festival.
“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.
“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 Moore. “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.”
“Virginia spirits bring a local, delicious and historic flavor to our shelves, and customers love supporting local businesses,” said Virginia ABC Chairman Jeffrey Painter.
Governor Terry McAuliffe ended the month with a celebration at Virginia’s Executive Mansion. “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. “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.”
Members of the Virginia Distillers Association include:
- A. Smith Bowman Distillery
- Belle Isle Craft Spirits
- Belmont Farm Distillery
- Boar Creek Distillery
- Catoctin Creek Distillery
- Chesapeake Bay Distillery
- Cirrus Vodka
- Copper Fox Distillery
- Dry Fork Distillery
- Eight Shires Coloniale Distillery
- Falls Church Distillery
- Filibuster Bourbon
- Franklin County Distilleries
- George Washington’s Distillery
- Ironclad Distillery
- James River Distillery
- KO Distillery
- Ragged Branch Distillery
- D. Wilhelm Distilling
- River Hill Distillery
- Virginia Distillery
- Vitae Spirits
Time to get started on festivities for year number three!
Photo Credit: Michaele White Virginia Governor’s Office and Virginia Distillers Association