PHOTO BY CARL MURRAY
American Distilling Institute’s Annual Convention the government, is opening its arms wide to embrace our return and growth. Every aspect, ATTENDEES: 1,014 registered attendees. from cooperages to marketing, from high-end EXHIBITORS: 109 vendors. chemical analysis to craft lore is available for our WHAT WERE THE BEST RECEIVED CLASSES, AND conference to continue being on the vanguard of WORKSHOPS? The two-day Amaro workshop was the industry. a surprise hit attended mostly by established distilleries. In general, all the hands-on workshops EXHIBITOR: TAPI were a resounding success. HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT ADI? The ADI
WHAT WAS THE PRIMARY GOAL GOING INTO THIS YEAR’S EVENT? To provide information to distillers at all
levels in taking it to the next level in processes and practices. WHO IS THE TARGET MARKET FOR THIS EVENT? The
entire distilling community. WHO GETS THE MOST VALUE FROM ATTENDING? The advanced distilling and business-practices knowledge on display is so overwhelming that anyone who comes to our conference can benefit from the continued professional education. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SUCCESS OF THE EVENT?
The biggest success was seeing the sense of community arising from all these distillers of different backgrounds, nationalities, genders, and experience levels coming together to share their knowledge and perspectives. A big plus was coordinating with the Washington State Distillers Guild and seeing their sense of cooperative collaboration and congeniality. WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED ON? Some distillers found that the schedule was too thick with good breakout sessions and that multiple presentations they wanted to attend were running concurrently. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE IN 2015? Louisville has changed a lot since the last time we were there. The greater Louisville area, including
HOW MANY CONVENTIONS DID YOU ATTEND THIS YEAR?
Just ADI, for me personally, but Nicole Austin (of King County Distillery) usually does ACDA, MCC, Tales, and various state-guild events. WHERE THERE ANY CLASSES OR PANELS THAT REALLY STOOD OUT FOR YOU? The “What is Craft” panel was
completely amazing and seemed quite productive. This is something distillers are really struggling with, and we still don’t have a good answer to the question though the stakes are very high for all show is especially important to us as a venue of us. to reach new customers and give them an introduction to our product lines. WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU GOT OUT OF THE EVENT? It’s just always fun to hang out with WHO DO YOU THINK GETS THE MOST VALUE OUT OF A like-minded people and appreciate the diversity of SHOW LIKE THIS? This is difficult to say. We have what’s going on in craft spirits all over the country. our niche in the show so we don’t get to see the overall picture. I believe everyone gets something WHO DO YOU THINK GETS THE MOST VALUE OUT OF A out of the show. SHOW LIKE THIS? ADI seemed really aimed at startWHAT ASPECT OF THE EVENT DID YOU ENJOY THE up distillers more than established players, but MOST? Seeing fresh faces and meeting with fellow that didn’t bother me. I tend to avoid these things for cost reasons, and indeed, we’ve been around vendors. for four years before I felt I could afford the trip, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DONE DIFFERENTLY but there are benefits to meeting and getting to NEXT YEAR? I’m happy with the ADI format as it know our peers in the business. We have the most fits in as a complement to our other shows with to learn from each other. So I think it has a lot of different focuses. value for everyone. ARE YOU GOING AGAIN IN 2015? We certainly will. The awards are a big deal for us, and it would be great to see those cleaned up a little bit. I’m ATTENDEE: COLIN SPOELMAN – not sure how many medals were given out, but it KING COUNTY DISTILLERY might be better for all if there were consistency HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT ADI? I had a great year to year and more logic to the categories. time at ADI, my first, as it was a chance to meet ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR THE EVENT NEXT YEAR? Well, a lot of the vendors that we’ve worked with over again, streamlining and simplifying the awards to the years of building out our distillery, and offered make them more meaningful. As for the festival a great chance to see some other distilleries in format, I can’t imagine a better way to do it. We’ve a different market, as well as new friends from still not had one in the Northeast, and we have other distilleries around the country. a lot of distillers here, so I’m looking forward to when the show comes to us.