NEXT WAVE WRITTEN BY RALPH ERENZO
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
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.