Virginians brewed peach and apple brandies, described as Virginia drams, however, there were certain restrictions. These brandies were to be sold within the rates laid down for English spirits.
However, permission was granted to keepers of ordinaries to secure as large a profit from the sale of beer as they could make within a limit of four shillings a gallon, or forty pounds of tobacco. This was a very high price in those days. To make things worse, although innkeepers charged at established prices, for many years their accounts were not been pleadable. The right to sue upon these accounts in a court of justice and recover judgment was not granted until 1668. But the requirement was that the action be brought within a year after the debt was contracted. There were so many taverns and tippling houses in the colony during 1668 that the number was reduced in each county to one or two, unless they could accommodate travellers. More were needed at ports, ferries and the crossings of great roads. It seems that every court house was also a drinking-shop! During the high time of the rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon against the local government, many laws were passed (1676) for the purpose of suppressing long-standing abuses, and a legislative attempt was made to enforce what amounted to general prohibition. Thus, the licenses of all inns, alehouses and tippling-houses (except those at James City and at the two great ferries of the York River) were revoked! Source: Hening's Statues, vol. II, p. 113.
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