Virginia Spirits Festival brings 14 distillers together in DC

WASHINGTON – As part of Virginia Spirits Month, the Virginia Distillers Association is bringing its Virginia Spirits Festival to D.C. this weekend.

The Passenger Bar, one of D.C.’s most popular craft cocktail scenes that moved to Shaw last year, is certainly a fitting place to hold a spirits festival, but why wouldn’t the Virginia Spirits Festival be held someplace in Virginia?

People in D.C. apparently drink a lot.

“Washington, D.C., is the wettest consumer market per capita in these United States,” Daniel Kramer with festival organizer Craft Hospitality, told WTOP. “It ends up being a great market to be in. In a sense, you’ve got to go where the customers are, and D.C. is a great market.”

The Festival brings together 14 Virginia distilleries and will include tastings of nearly 30 Virginia spirits. It will also allow attendees to interact with the distillers and learn about Virginia’s distilling heritage.

Northern Virginia has a well-established wine business, and a long roster of craft beer brewers. Distilling has recently become more of a growth industry for the region, and a lot of what distillers in Northern Virginia are doing could be referred to as “farm to bottle.”

“A lot of them own their farms and then have a distillery right there, so they’re sourcing their own grains, using Virginia water, and it keeps them in touch with every step of the distilling process,”  Kramer said.

The Virginia Spirits Festival at The Passenger Bar is Sept. 30 from noon to 6 p.m.  Tickets are $25, with part of the proceeds going to the Virginia Distillers Association.


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