September Newsletter ~ 9/24/2014
Spirit Works Distillery, Sebastopol, CA


Spirit Works introduces barrel-aged gin


Bandit knows the drill. When Timo and Ashby Marshall lead a tour of their Sebastopol, CA distillery, their Boston terrier trots alongside, pausing for an explanation of the grain milling process with an expression of utter concentration, before dutifully moving on to the next feature in tandem with the shuffling shoes.


Perhaps Bandit thinks he's working, too, since everyone works on the production room floor at Spirit Works, from the tasting-room manager to, on this day, the visitors. The occasion is the distillery's inaugural release of barrel-aged gin. 


Spirit Works opened in 2013 in a reconditioned warehouse in Sebastopol's Barlow center. It's a grain to glass distillery, meaning that the process is controlled every step of the way, from receiving pallets of California-grown, organic red winter wheat to rectifying the final product in a column still. They produce gin, sloe gin and vodka. Read more.

All about ADI founder, Bill Owens


According to Bill Owens, it's his DNA that

told him to get into craft distilling. "One day you just wake up and you buy books and your DNA says, I want to do this." After a hearty financial investment, lots of paperwork, 10-hour days, much trial and error, Owens is doing what he loves, running the successful American Distilling Institute.


According to Owens, he's completely self-taught in the art of everything: brewing, photography and distilling. His current project is to build the first-ever malting floor, brewery and distillery -- all under one roof.


Difford's Guide has published an in-depth interview with Owens, the man who, in his younger days, was clearly at the forefront of the craft distilling revolution. To read the full article, click here.


 Day-to-Day Life in a Craft Distillery

by Raphael Germain-Robin

Intern Raphael Germain-Robin pumps single-malt whiskey into an oak barrel at Stillwater Spirits.

I learned and gained experience in an internship with American Distilling Institute, working as an apprentice distiller at Stillwater Spirits in Petaluma, CA, along with three years experience working as an assistant distiller at Alambic Inc. (Germain-Robin Brandy). 


I found that there are many things that go into operating a distillery that you might not think about, whether you are involved in the production side or not. 

Many things that go into the distillery operations other than making delicious spirits, controlling the still and making the cuts on the second distillation. Yes, you've ordered your next grains, fruits and wines, and responded to emails and phone calls, but some very important things need to be done while the still is on autopilot to create an efficient and profitable distillery. Read More.


'Bourbonism' is taking root in Louisville


The worldwide bourbon boom emanating from Kentucky has an increasingly Louisville address. At 120 N. 10th St., on the western edge of downtown, Corky Taylor is turning a former tobacco market and burlap bag factory into the Kentucky Peerless Distillery and visitor center. Near Louisville Slugger Field, Angel's Envy distillery is doing business in the old Vermont American site, and in Shively, Michter's has added a distillery as it continues to work on revamping the Fort Nelson building at 801 W. Main St.


"I think we're just in the very, very early stages of seeing what it's going to be," Mayor Greg Fischer said.


Members of the Kentucky Distillers Association are spending or have spent more than $500 million since 2012 on distilleries, warehouses, bottling lines and visitor centers. The growth of distilleries throughout Kentucky provides economic benefits from employment, taxes and tourism -- a combination Fischer and others call "bourbonism." Read more.


 Eastside Distilling expanding to new facility


Portland, Oregon-based

Eastside Distilling LLC is set to start

construction on a new production facility. 

The company, founded in 2009, currently operates out of a 3,000-square-foot building with capacity for 18,000 nine-liter cases a year. It will be moving into a former glass factory in Distillery Row on Portland's southeast side (surrounded by a half-dozen other craft distillers) with 41,000 square feet of space and capacity for 750,000 cases a year. Construction should be finished by December, according to CEO Steven Earles. He says the company, which has concentrated its distribution until now around Oregon, is poised to go national.

"We've got deals to come to the states of Washington, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Georgia, and we'll soon be in Texas and Florida. We plan to be in all 50 states within 24 months," Earles said. 

Eastside Distilling's most popular labels are the Below Deck Spiced Rum, Cherry Bomb Whiskey and Portland Potato Vodka.

Barkeeper & Co.'s new B-bag

A carpenter is never far from a toolbox. A fisherman doesn't leave home without a tackle box. And now a bartender can carry everything from a cocktail shaker to a bar spoon on the go with a high-quality handmade bag designed and assembled in Seattle, WA -- a mecca for the thriving craft cocktail scene.


Barkeeper & Co. has developed the
B-bag, the perfect complement for the bartender who loves crafting that perfect cocktail. The waxed filter twill canvas exterior has a zipped pocket that will hold a wide variety of bartending tools. The interior has a water-resistant, hand-washable liner and a unique adjustable insert made by Trek Pak that provides space for up to eight bottles of liquor and wine or shakers and mixing glasses. A nationwide Kickstarter campaign was launched on Sept. 15th.


The bag was inspired by the work of Barkeeper & Co co-founder John Ueding, craft distilleries manger for Seattle-based Click Distributing and owner of Mixing Glass Consulting, which helps restaurants improve their cocktail offerings. 



Mississippi River Distilling bursting at the seams


Co-owner Ryan Burchett

Two brothers who started a whiskey distillery in eastern Iowa have hit a common issue among craft distillers: Demand for their whiskey exceeds their capacity. 


"We are bursting at the seams. We're putting barrels anywhere we can find room," said Ryan Burchett, who co-owns Mississippi River Distilling Co. with his brother.


Mississippi River Distilling, which makes hand-crafted spirits from 100% local grains, has started work on a 1,400-square-foot expansion that Burchett said will triple the distillery's storage capacity. While the storage room -- a "big concrete garage" as Burchett describes it -- will expand the distillery's basement, an outside patio will be added to its exterior. Read more.


 Thank You to all our Sponsors!

Bruni Glass


Spirit Works
All About Bill Owens
Day-to-Day Life in a Craft Distillery
Bourbonism Taking Root in Louisville
Eastside Distilling Expansion
The New B-Bag
Mississippi River Distilling



A spicy take on the classic Millionaire cocktail from the Savoy Cocktail Book
of the 1930s. This modern version adds Canton ginger liqueur to the bright berry sloe gin and smooth dark rum.
  • 1 oz Spirit Works Sloe Gin
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • 1/2 oz Canton liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 2 tsp grenadine

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, strain, and serve up in a martini glass. Enjoy!


(Source: Jahmilah Nixon & Noah Andrus, Forchetta Bastoni)

ADI seeking proposals for conference presentations


ADI is seeking proposals for presentations at our 2015 Conference & Expo in Louisville, KY, and we want to hear from you!

Our goal is to bring our attendees quality speakers representing every facet of our industry. The most impactful presentations come from our membership. By sharing your knowledge and experience with your peers, you will help build our great community, and foster our art.

If you are not ready to present, but would like to suggest a session that would benefit your trade, you can do so here as well. Take this opportunity to give us your valuable feedback.

Click here to be taken to our proposals submission form. The deadline for submissions is September 30th. 
New book release from
White Mule Press
The Craft Maltsters' Handbook
by Dave Thomas


Malted barley is becoming the new hero ingredient for craft distillers.

The Craft Maltsters' Handbook
provides an in-depth understanding of the technical and scientific meanings of words and phrases used in malting and is an up-to-date reference on the many types of malts used in brewing and distilling today. Craft malt is fast becoming the "essential, enigmatic ingredient that fills craft beer, craft foods and craft spirits with color, flavor, strength, personality and



The Craft Maltsters' Handbook can be purchased from White Mule Press,

 where you can also learn about the author.


Florida's Cape Spirits Inc.craft distillers and innovators of award-winning Wicked Dolphin Rums, has just released a new spirit series called RumShine. The three flavors include Apple Pie, Strawberry and Blueberry.


Owner JoAnn Elardo says, "This is a new category in the spirits industry and this does not happen very often. We have worked hard and are proud to introduce RumShine." She adds, "
We take a lot of pride in using as many fresh, Florida ingredients that we can."
The world's 10 most pioneering distillers



The Spirits Business pays tribute to distillers whose experimental visions have re-moulded the industry, challenged restricting old structures and paved the way for a new generation of bright eyed imbibers. To read the article, click here.

Ready to become Certified?

Apply today, and join more than 200 micro-distilleries who are truly craft, not just crafty

 Send us your Craft Distilling    News 
We're adding fresh updates and industry news regularly to our eNewsletter, as we share what is happening in our ever-growing industry nationwide.

Send your craft distilling news and info on new products -- even your craft spirits recipes -- to our eNewsletter editor Carol.


ADI Links