A Prince William County distillery could help bring more international business to Virginia in the coming months.
KO Distilling is one of six distilleries representing Virginia at “Whisky Live” in London.
The Manassas-based craft distillery produces bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey and wheat whiskey, as well as three different types of gin.
The distilleries will offer tastings of their products at the event, which is taking place on Friday and Saturday.
“What we hope to do is not only talk about our distillery but also talk about all the green that we get from Virginia farms for our whiskeys,” KO Distilling CEO Bill Karlson said.
The management team at KO Distilling is hopeful that their trip overseas brings more business to the Commonwealth.
Today, they are meeting with the British Bourbon Society for dinner, where they will provide samples of their liquor.
“We’re hoping to meet with a number of distributors and consumers over there, and hopefully to be exporting here in the next couple of months,” President and Head Distiller John O’Mara said.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Office of International Marketing, and the agency’s European trade representative are supporting their participation in “Whisky Live.”
“We’re excited to utilize our European representative office to support these distilleries in their efforts to expand into international markets,” VDACS Acting Commissioner Charles Green said in a release. “We applaud them in their decision to use this major trade event as an opportunity to connect with distribution partners, trade buyers and industry influencers in the U.K.”
Distilleries play a large role in Virginia’s economy.
According to a study the Virginia Distillers Association released in January, Virginia’s 57 distilleries support more than 1,400 positions that are equivalent to full-time jobs.
In 2017, the distilleries contributed almost $17.5 million to state and local taxes.
Many distilleries, according to the study, also serve as tourism destinations by educating consumers about the history and art of “distilling spirits.”