Artisan Spirit: Summer 2014

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WESTERN DISTILLERY ROAD TRIP Q&A with AMANDA CHRISTENSEN INTRO & QUESTIONS BY CHRIS LOZIER

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMANDA JOY CHRISTENSEN

rtisan Spirit Magazine’s creative director and lead photographer Amanda Christensen hit the road again to take in the American Craft Distillers Association convention in Denver, visiting eight craft distilleries along the way. Her adventure

took her 2,789 miles in 13 days through Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. Amanda said, “The scenery was breathtaking and I’m still reeling over the amazing discussions I got to have and the people I’m so glad to have met.” Here she shares some of the highlights of her journey, insights into the differences between the way craft distillers operate in neighboring states, and a peak behind the interview curtain to discover how to get the most out of an interview with the media.

WHAT SIMILARITIES DID YOU SEE BETWEEN THE DISTILLERS?

would have to be listed as an ingredient in every bottle of spirits craft distillers make. I’m just really in love with craft distillers

They were all generally happy, enthusiastic and excited people. (their booze is just a nice cherry on top). They were all people that had begun their working lives in different fields, and for one reason or another, decided to make a huge change and go after their dream. They’ve all taken great

DID YOU SEE ANYTHING THAT SURPRISED YOU?

leaps of faith and risked a lot to do what they’re doing and I find I LOVED the tasting room set-up at the three Montana distilleries I that incredibly inspiring. As a fellow small business owner, I know visited. The tasting rooms are centered around enormous wooden how scary what they’ve done is. The pressures, responsibilities, bars of the sort you’re used to seeing in the old west movies. and demands they face is staggering. But these guys and gals are They all have ample seating and a very casual atmosphere that doing it anyway. If there were “truth in labeling,” perseverance invites patrons to relax and enjoy themselves for a while. All

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