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the

NEXT WAVE WRITTEN BY RALPH ERENZO

T

he Craft Distilling industry is past its infancy. Most of

differences between big and small spirits. The industry is finally

the youngish family of maverick startups have made it

taking responsibility for itself by organizing on the professional

through the gauntlet of real world obstacles and are entering

level and a national scale.

their advanced adolescence. And haven’t we all been through it?

The moment seems to have come early to the Craft Distilling

The injuries, fires, audits, taxes, staffing, label approvals. The

industry. That moment when the earth moves a little, usually

dozen or so oldest distilleries have mostly managed to get their

when the newness has worn off and the potential for profit is

products to market and appealed to a sense of adventure out

shown to be more than a unicorn. It is that moment when the

there in the marketplace, the desire for “the next new thing.” The

money becomes more important than the lifestyle or the creative

industry at large has accepted the brazen newcomers and their

act. It’s when bankers and lawyers see profit and billable hours;

crazy notions, and the big producers appear to recognize the

when the lawsuits start.

value the craft producers bring to both the marketplace and the

In his new book How to Kill a Unicorn, Mark Payne defines the

ongoing legislative efforts. The press is better educated on the “Unicorn” as an interesting concept that seems exciting, pretty to

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Artisan Spirit: Winter 2014  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Winter 2014  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.