The Virginia Museum of History & Culture continues its opening celebrations with a toast to Virginia beer and spirits

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, June 17, 2024

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture continues its opening celebrations with a toast to Virginia beer and spirits
Installation view.

RICHMOND, VA.- Celebrate the brewing, distilling and fermenting craft and the makers whose art fills your glass. Alcohol has been a part of life in the Commonwealth for more than four centuries. From the arrival of the first Europeans, winemaking, brewing and distilling have been the work of Virginians, and their products have been enjoyed widely. Shaped by the land and the innovation and creativity of its makers, Virginia continues to play a unique role in the story of alcohol in America. Cheers, Virginia! explores how makers have used their talent and enthusiasm to connect with and represent the people, places and history of the Commonwealth.

The exhibition explores how these makers have affected life in the Commonwealth, including early Virginians' need to drink alcohol as an alternative to unsafe drinking water; George Washington's contribution to distilling in the country's earliest days; the need for packaging and transport that led to numerous inventions; prohibition that evolved from the temperance movement and its ultimate repeal; current craft brewing, distilling and winemaking culture and practitioners; and much more.

Square feet: 1,700

Number of artifacts: 50


• Liquor chest given by the Marquis de Lafayette to William Cabell, Jr. as a token of his service during the Revolutionary War (VMHC 1986.51)

• Fluted drinking glasses belonging to George Washington (VMHC 1939.10.4.a-b)

• Copper still made by Arnold & Fiske of Richmond, about 1860 (VMHC 2000.201)

• Virginia liquor taxation stamp, 1916 (VMHC 1996.10.1)

• "Repeal the 18th Amendment/ More Beer Less Taxes" scarf, 1920s (VMHC 2003.424)

• Champion mint julep cup presented to John Dabney by the city of Richmond, 1860 (VMHC 2021.38.1)

• Parkway Brewing Company "Get Bent" beer tap handle (VMHC 2015.38.2)

• Monticello Wine Company wine bottle, Charlottesville, VA, late 1800s (2003.183)

• Reynolds Metals Company alcohol advertisements (2004.240.11.JJJJJJ)

• Richbrau Premium Beer bottle, brewed and bottled by Home Brewing Company, mid-1900s (2004.213.39)

• Sherry glass, 1720s (1969.24)

• Curator: Paige Newman, VMHC

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