Explore the Birthplace of American Spirits
Spirits fans, did you know that Virginia is the birthplace of American Spirits? It is time to explore the four-hundred-year history of spirits in the Commonwealth. It is time to meet the new Virginia Spirits Trail.
The Years of 1620-2020
We started our trail experience by visiting the Whisky Experience Museum at the Virginia Distillery Company in Nelson County, Virginia. Here are just a few things that we learned:
“Uisce Beatha”…. Gaelic for “Water of Life”…
The story of distilled spirits in Virginia pre-dates the arrival of the Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 1700’s. English colonist George Thorpe distilled the first batch of corn whiskey in America in 1620.
George Washington owned and operated the country’s largest rye whiskey distillery at Mount Vernon in the 1790s. You can still taste Washington’s whiskey on today’s trail.
Virginia Spirits During Prohibition
During Prohibition, Franklin County, Virginia became known as the “Moonshine Capital of the World.” You can read more about prohibition with our review of Edward Behr’s Book – Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America
Virginia Spirits Today
Today, you can explore the Virginia Spirits Trail and visit twenty-eight Virginia distilleries. This trail will take you from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Tidewater, to Richmond, and up to Northern Virginia. You will taste whiskey, vodka, rum, and specialty spirits. You will meet distillers and enjoy unique cocktails.
Read more as the DW&S team explores a few of Virginia’s finest Distilleries: