Distilleries in Virginia continue to grow

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- In 2008, there were only ten distilleries in Virginia, and there are roughly 70 with more on the way.

Two years ago, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority and Virginia Distillers Association joined together to declare September Virginia Spirits Month.

Since then, sales in September and overall continue to grow.

This past September, distillery and ABC sales reached $1.5 million, up 20 percent from just last September.

Spirit Lab Distilling was Charlottesville's first legal distillery when it opened in 2015.

Ivar Aass, owner and distiller, says he saw an increase in sales in September and a big increase in sales overall since opening.

"There's this energy in the air and I can only see it getting more intense," he said.

Aass went on to say that the spirits consumer has changed over the last few years, and they're knowledge of the product continues to grow.

"No one is going for the bad stuff anymore," he added. "People really know their stuff and it's actually a great time to be a distiller."

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