Home ‘Cheers, Virginia!’ The Virginia Museum of History & Culture toasts Virginia beer, wine and spirits

‘Cheers, Virginia!’ The Virginia Museum of History & Culture toasts Virginia beer, wine and spirits

Crystal Graham
Copper still made by Arnold & Fiske of Richmond, about 1860
Copper still made by Arnold & Fiske of Richmond, about 1860. Photo courtesy VMHC.

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond announce the opening of “Cheers, Virginia!,” an exhibition running August 6 to January 29 in the David and Susan Goode Gallery.

The exhibit celebrates the brewing, distilling and fermenting craft and the makers whose art fills your glass, according to a news release. 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 exhibit was curated by Paige Newman.

Fifty artifacts are included in the exhibit. Artifacts include:

  • 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)
  • Richbrau Premium Beer bottle, brewed and bottled by Home Brewing Company, mid-1900s (2004.213.39)
  • Sherry glass, 1720s (1969.24)

Admission is free to the exhibit with museum admission. Admission to the museum is $10 per person. Discounts are available for seniors, children and military/veterans.

There are several related programs to the exhibit taking place at VMHC:

  • BrewHaHa craft beer festival, August 6 at 6 p.m: Enjoy beer selections from a wide variety of Virginia breweries from across the Commonwealth, live music from the Slack Family Band, food trucks and access to “Cheers, Virginia!” Tickets: $10-$45 (with early bird discount through July 24).
  • Virginia Distilled festival, September 17 at 6 p.m.: Celebrate Virginia Spirits month at the inaugural Virginia Distilled festival featuring samples of spirits produced by distillers from around the Commonwealth, live music, food trucks and after-hours access to “Cheers, Virginia!” Tickets: $10-$35.
  • Virginia Vines, October 15 at 6 p.m.: Featuring wine selections from some of Virginia’s best wineries and vineyards, live jazz, food trucks, and access to “Cheers, Virginia!” Tickets: $10-$35.

For program details or to register, visit VirginiaHistory.org/Calendar.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.