News & Politics

Virginia Reports Record Booze Revenues

New financial results from the commonwealth show increased alcohol sales during the pandemic.

Photograph by Ryan Lackey/Flickr.

As the Covid pandemic maintains its grip on the Washington region, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority is reporting record revenues from booze, according to draft financial results released by the commonwealth Tuesday and reported by WTOP.

From July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, the Virginia ABC reported $1.4 billion in revenues related to booze, which includes retail sales as well as associated fees. That’s up more than $163 million from the same period a year earlier. 

Retail sales of alcohol at Virginia ABC stores increased nearly 15 percent over the prior fiscal year.

Travis Hill, the top executive at the Virginia ABC, described the results in a statement as a “record-breaking year.”

In recent months, according to a Virgina ABC press release detailing the financial results, sales of spirits to restaurants and hospitality business in Virginia have returned to “historic levels,” following a steep drop-off in the first few months of the pandemic. 

What were Virginians drinking? These were the best-selling brands of liquor from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, according to the Virginia ABC:

  1. Tito’s Handmade (vodka)
  2. Hennessy VS (cognac/Armagnac)
  3. Jack Daniel’s 7 Black (whiskey)
  4. Patron Silver (tequila) 
  5. Jim Beam (bourbon)

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Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.