Virginia liquor stores had record sales

People did more drinking at home in the fiscal year that just ended, and that made up for a drop in initial sales to bars and restaurants for Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority liquor stores.

The Virginia ABC’s unaudited draft financial results show gross revenue of $1.4 billion, up $163 million from fiscal year 2020. During fiscal 2021, retail sales grew 14.7% with an increase in online orders and the addition of six new ABC stores.

Even with the drop in restaurant and hospitality sales, the authority said sales in the final months of the fiscal year had returned to pre-pandemic levels, and license sales finished fiscal 2021 up 5.6% over the prior year.

“The resourcefulness and dedication of our ABC teammates, especially those in retail and distribution, enabled us to overcome tremendous challenges to achieve a record-breaking year,” said ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill.

Virginia ABC has released a list of the top five brands purchased at stores in fiscal 2021:

  1. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  2. Hennessy VS
  3. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Old No. 7 Black Label
  4. Patrón Silver
  5. Jim Beam

Patrón Silver tequila saw the biggest increase in sales, up 38.1% from $20.9 million to $28.9 million.

Hennessy Very Special cognac sales went from $46.9 million to $52.8 million, a 12.6% increase, while Tito’s Handmade Vodka sales jumped from $52.3 million to $57.9 million, a 10.5% increase.

ABC contributed $616.4 million to state programs and services, an increase of $71.1 million over the previous year. The agency said that includes $237.3 million in profits from retail sales, $294 million in retail taxes and $85.1 million collected in wine and beer taxes.

ABC will release the final, fully audited results of fiscal 2021 this fall.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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