Alehouses became social, religious, and trading centers, so Virginia authorities also encouraged tavern growth – especially to promote trade. The taverns were used to conduct court business and thus save capital expenses for the government. Taverns also became centers of politics. At this time, beer was considered a part of a good diet.
Taverns in Virginia History
Mid 1600’s: Virginia reprimanded several ministers for “drunken and riotous conduct.” This was a time period of the highest alcohol consumption rates in American History.
Late 1600’s: Forty pounds of tobacco per gallon of brew. Consequently, demand to grow barley was low when Virginian farmers could grow tobacco.
1700’s: Taverns were the hotbed of poltical discussions. George Washington spent a good portion of his time in taverns drinking porter and drafting the views that gave birth to our nation.
1769: In May, Governor Botetourt dissolved the House of Burgesses because of resolutions against the Townshend Acts.
Pre-Revolutionary War: Pending war shortages, Virginia concerned itself with the “advancement of American arts and manufactures” including the encouragement of hop and barley farming because the production of local beer would “tend to render the consumption of foreign liquors less necessary.”
1836: Warren County was established on March 23, 1836, at Lane’s Ordinance, located approximately one block from the Virginia Beer Museum.