Michigan Map & Directory Identifies 24 Craft Distilleries

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The Michigan Craft Distillers Association (#MiSpirits) has just published 20,000 copies of its 2016-2017 map and directory, featuring 24 member craft distillers (with 37 tasting room locations) and four “in planning” distillery members, along with 45 allied members and service providers. The expanded four-panel, four-color piece will be distributed at member distilleries, state tourism offices, welcome centers, retail outlets and other locations around Michigan. A PDF version of the map is also available online at MiCraftSpirits.com.

As with any craft or “local” product, educating the consumer is vital. With the growth of the industry comes operations that produce spirits on various levels. The association has established its own definition of a “craft” vs. a “merchant” distiller to help identify operations that actually distill spirits in Michigan.

CRAFT DISTILLER: a distilling organization or brand that produces a distilled product at a facility in Michigan. The Michigan distillery must hold Federal Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) and Michigan Small Distillers Licenses. And at least 51% of the products produced are fermented and distilled on the licensed premises.

MERCHANT DISTILLER: holds Federal Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) and Michigan Small Distillers Licenses and acts as an independent rectifier, blender or bottler on the licensed premises. “Merchant” producers purchase their spirits from a larger distillery, often in bulk quantities, and sell it under their own label.

DISTILLERY IN PLANNING: a craft distillery in the process of establishing Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) and Michigan Small Distillers Licenses, which adheres to all of the requirements as outlined for a “Craft Distiller.”

And what about the labels on the spirit bottles? How can you tell if the products were actually made in Michigan? While there a variety of descriptions that can be printed on a label, including, “bottled in,” “distilled in,” “manufactured in,” “produced in,” “aged in” or any combination of those terms, if it reads anything other than “distilled” — at least in whiskey — it wasn’t made by the company.

The Michigan Craft Distillers Association was formed in 2014 to organize the growing number of small-batch spirit producers in the state, serving as a united voice on legislative, promotional and business issues.

Cheers to World Gin Day: Saturday, June 11

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There’s a holiday for just about everything…this is especially true for foods and beverages. This year, the 8th Annual World Gin Day is set for Saturday, June 11. A time for Gin novices and connoisseurs alike to celebrate all things gin.

Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries, dark bluish-colored berries full of fragrant pine-scented oils which are known to grow wild in Michigan. Its earliest notations are as an herbal medicine as it was noted to improve digestion as well as aide as an antioxidant, antifungal and antimicrobial. Yet, savoring it in a cocktail is much more enjoyable, don’t you think?

According to Wikipedia, “Gin was developed on the basis of the older jenever, and became popular in Great Britain, when William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Republic, occupied the English, Scottish and Irish thrones with his wife, Mary.”

Considered one of the broadest categories of spirits, gin is represented by product of various origins, styles and flavor profiles that all revolve around juniper as a common ingredient. Although several different styles of gin have evolved over time, it is legally differentiated into four categories:

In Michigan, nearly two dozen different gins are produced from almost as many craft distilleries. To find out which ones are making gin, visit our list of member distilleries below and then share your favorite gin cocktail recipes on our MiSpirits Facebook Page.

American Fifth Spirits

Capital Gin

Bier Distillery – Michigan Beer Cellar

Mum’s Ruin Gin

Civilized Spirits

Civilized Gin

Coppercraft Distillery

Coppercraft Gin & Coppercraft Genever

Detroit City Distillery

Railroad Gin

Grand River Distillery

Grand River Gin

Grand Traverse Distillery

Peninsula Gin

Gray Skies Distillery

Barrel Finished Hopped Gin

Journeyman Distillery

Bilberry Black Hearts Organic Gin & Bilberry Black Hearts Barrel Aged Gin

Long Road Distillers

Long Road Gin

Mammoth Distilling

Old Dam Gin

New Holland Artisan Spirits

Knickerbocker Gin, Knickerbocker Barrel Gin, Brixx Barrel Gin & Blue Haven Gin Aged on Blueberries

 Red Cedar Spirits

Red Cedar Gin

 Sanctuary Spirits

Sanctuary Spirits Gin

 Two James Spirits

Old Cockney Gin & Barrel Reserve Old Cockney Gin

 Valentine Distilling

Liberator Gin & Liberator Old Tom Gin

For a list of our entire membership, click “Craft Distillers” on the right hand column.

#MiSpirits

 

Six Michigan Distilleries Receive Collective 16 Awards at American Distilling Institute’s 10th Annual Spirits Competition in San Diego, California

Six Michigan distilleries were honored with 16 individual awards April 5, 2016 at the American Distilling Institute’s 10th Annual Spirits Competition, held as part of its annual conference in San Diego, California. Competition organizers reported 645 spirits were entered and a panel of 28 judges awarded 282 medals in a variety of categories.

According to the Michigan Craft Distillers Association, awards were presented to:

DOUBLE GOLD

Long Road Distillers, Grand Rapids                    Aquavit

New Holland Artisan Spirits, Holland                   Bierschnaps White ** Also awarded ”Best in Category”

GOLD

Coppercraft Distillery, Holland                            Cask Strength Bourbon

Long Road Distillers, Grand Rapids                    Corn Whisky

New Holland Artisan Spirits, Holland                   Knickerbocker Barrel Gin

Two James Spirits, Detroit                                 Dos Jaimes Mezcal Joven

SILVER

Detroit City Distillery, Detroit                              Bootleg Bourbon

Grand Traverse Distillery, Traverse City              Olde George 100% Straight Rye Whiskey

Long Road Distillers, Grand Rapids                    Wendy Peppercorn Flavored Vodka

New Holland Artisan Spirits, Holland                   Knickerbocker Gin ** Also awarded “Best in Category”

BRONZE

Coppercraft Distillery, Holland                            Coppercraft Rum

New Holland Artisan Spirits, Holland                   Freshwater Amber Rum

New Holland Artisan Spirits, Holland                   Beer Barrel Bourbon

Two James Spirits, Detroit                                 Barrel Reserve Old Cockney Gin

** Also awarded a Silver Medal for “Excellence in Packaging”

Two James Spirits, Detroit                                 Catcher Rye Whisky

The Michigan Craft Distillers Association was formed in 2014 as a non-profit organization charged with marketing the individual member businesses, their products and events, but also help bring a voice for the industry when it comes to legislative issues that affect the overall beverage industry.