News & Politics

Virginia Continues to Drink Its Way Through the Pandemic

Six months after lockdown began, ABC sales were still up by a whole lot over 2019.

Photograph by Oleksii Liskonih, via iStock.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

Six months after Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, Virginians were still turning to state liquor stores for succor. That’s the story told by data Washingtonian obtained from the commonwealth’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

Northern Virginians should be proud to know they have really done their part. Sales in the commonwealth’s most populous region jumped in March, then maintained a high level through September. From March to September, sales were up almost 17 percent over the year before: an average of nearly $37 million per month. March remains the month with the highest dollar amount of liquor sales in NoVa, at $39.3 million. July wasn’t far behind, with $38.5 million.

The pattern held in the rest of the state through September. Sales were up 17 percent from March through September, and almost 19 percent for the whole year. July was the biggest month for sales across Virginia, when people spent more than $111 million buying booze—about 27 percent higher than 2019.


Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.