How-To Class for Starting a Distillery in Virginia

Tickle the Tastebuds - Beers & Breweries

Interested in Starting a Distillery?

Virginia ABC Supporting a How-To Class 

Savory Grain Cocktail with Bowman spiritsThe Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (Virginia ABC), the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and Piedmont Virginia Community College are partnering on a distillery start-up class to be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Students will learn about the application process at the state and federal levels, including obtaining federal label approval, recordkeeping requirements, securing approval for products sold in Virginia ABC Stores and the requirements for operating an on-site distillery store. 

Although enrollment was initially capped at 25, the positive response encouraged the organizers to expand enrollment to 75.


“The extraordinary response to this distillery start-up course shows that there is demand for this information,” said Greg Rosko, PVCC program manager in the Division of Workforce Services. “For a first-time class, the response has exceeded our expectations. The industry is really growing, and this is the perfect opportunity for participants to get all the information they need in one place directly from experts.”

Instructors include staff members from the TTB and Virginia ABC operations in compliance, finance and marketing.

“We are pleased that PVCC and the TTB were receptive to partnering with us on this class,” said Jennifer Guild, public relations specialist at Virginia ABC. “The collaboration will benefit not only the distillers, but ultimately Virginia consumers who will have a wider array of quality distilled spirits to choose from in Virginia ABC stores.”

Virginia ABC Special Agent in Charge Roger Stevens said, “We understand that opening a distillery requires an immense amount of planning, patience and paperwork. Just as we have done for breweries and wineries, we want to be helpful and serve as a resource for those interested in distilling spirits in Virginia. By being proactive and reaching out to the community interested in starting a distillery, we hope the process is less stressful and can proceed as quickly as possible. Although this is the first distillery start-up course we have partnered in offering, it is in keeping with our outreach across the state to various industry and licensee groups.”

The cost of $49 includes a resource workbook that explains everything discussed in the course.

The class will be presented in the Stultz Center for Business & Career Development on the main campus. For more information, call 434-961-5354 or go to the PVCC website.


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