Here’s a reason to find distilleries near you

(HNNDaily Photo/courtesy of Revel Photo Co.)
(Southside Daily Photo/courtesy of Revel Photo Co.)

Simply put: September is Spirits Month in Virginia and the governor is its chief cheerleader.

“Virginia is the birthplace of American spirits, and our 70 licensed distilleries are a part of the fastest growing sector of the beverage business,” Gov. Ralph Northam said.

“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,” he added.

The month-long event is the third annual celebration designed to educate consumers and travelers about Virginia distilled spirits, according to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

The celebration is a partnership between the Virginia Distillers Association, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Authority and Virginia Tourism Corporation.

It is designed to educate consumers about the wide variety of spirits produced in the state, while raising awareness of the contributions of the Virginia craft spirits industry to the local economy.

In honor of the event, distillers will offer complimentary tastings at Virginia ABC stores, there will be more than 30 “How To” cocktail videos that will be featured on the Virginia Spirits Facebook page and other social media channels throughout September and participating distilleries around the state will be offering special events, tours, tastings and featured cocktails.

To learn more Spirits Month click here.

To find a distillery near you participating in the month’s activities click here.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.