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New distillery Virago Spirits to begin production near The Diamond

From left: Barton, Vicki, Brad and Barry Haneberg. (Nick Davis Photography)

RICHMOND, Va. — There’s a new player entering the Richmond booze scene, reports

Virago Spirits will begin production in May at 1727 Rhoadmiller St., where the distillery will produce rum, gin, brandy and other liquors.

The family business is led by brothers Brad, Barry and Barton Haneberg and Brad’s wife Vicki. The Hanebergs’ backgrounds are in law, investment banking and sales, and conjured the idea for a distillery after deciding to go into business together.

“We went through a number of industries we thought would be fun,” Brad said. “Eventually we came down to beer, but with beer it just seems like there’s so much going on. We thought about craft distilling and thought that it’s an interesting play for us.”

They wanted to further differentiate from other local distillers such as Cirrus Vodka, Belle Isle Moonshine and James River Distillery, and decided to focus initially on rum.

Virago’s initial offering will be dubbed Four-Port Rum, a blend of rums from Jamaica, Barbados, Nicaragua and Panama. The initial batch was distilled in the Netherlands and shipped to Richmond.

“We decided that bourbon seemed to be the hot thing and we probably can’t do too much new there,” Brad said.

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