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as it happened







What’s going on, state-by-state and province-by-province

CT, NY LAUNCH GUILD WEBSITES AND TRAILS Distilling guilds are encouraging more interest in their members’ distilleries and spirits












of Kunia Camp, Hawaii

And its application in the brewery and distillery for volume contraction calculations and alcohol concentration determination

Science and perspective

CRAFT DISTILLERS AND THE NEW CONGRESS From the American Craft Spirits Association

NOTES FROM DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL’S 2016 ECONOMIC BRIEFING Small distillers credited for some of the growth


ADI's 14th annual Conference and Vendor Expo

CRAFT BEVERAGE LAWYERS GUILD Experienced attorneys form new guild


Build value in preparation for a potential sale, imminent or hypothetical


of Palisade, Colorado


DOWN THE DRAIN95 Anatomy of a product recall


ESOPS AND ARTISAN DISTILLING39 The “magic” of turning employees into company owners


Maillard and the incredible reactions he uncovered in 1912 Part 1 – The Chemistry










of Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Challenges and opportunities




NO SCHOOL LIKE THE OLD SCHOOL A journey to discover mezcal




51 55

Pipes & heads

Don't call it a by-product

Considering more than efficiency

of Telluride, CO

Looking beyond the basics

Say goodbye to inconsistent product quality












of Vernon and Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Forcing molecules apart

of Castle & Key Distillery in Frankfort, KY


from the COVER

Demystifying key aspects of control states

A key part of any distillery's marketing efforts

Seize this opportunity to connect with customers


Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. Image by Amanda Joy Christensen. See their story on page 65.


Captivating Capsules Issue 18 /// Spring 2017

Top off your spirit package

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Brian Christensen

with a capsule


worthy of

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Amanda Joy Christensen

your brand

CONTRIBUTORS Luis Ayala Shawn Bergeron Renee Cebula Franklin M. Chen, Ph.D. Brian B. DeFoe Carrie Dow Andrew Faulkner Paul Hughes, Ph.D. James E. Hyland Tim Knittel John Koehler Yarrow Kraner


Margie A.S. Lehrman Ryan Malkin John McKee Emily Rickard David Schuemann Marc E. Sorini Gary Spedding, Ph.D. Gabe Toth Molly Troupe Margarett Waterbury R. Scott Winters, Ph.D.

ILLUSTRATOR Lanette Faulkinberry

PHOTOGRAPHERS Luis Ayala Amanda Joy Christensen Carrie Dow GLINT Studios Yarrow Kraner


Chris Lozier Melissa Plantz Gabe Toth Margarett Waterbury

SALES & MARKETING Ashley Monroe ARTISAN SPIRIT is the endorsed publication of the American Craft Spirits Association. ARTISAN SPIRIT is a quarterly publication by Artisan Spirit Media.

Custom color, embossing, stamping and exclusive easy-to-open tear tab

www.artisanspiritmag.com facebook.com/ArtisanSpiritMagazine


General Inquiries (509) 944-5919 Advertising (509) 991-8112 PO Box 31494, Spokane, WA 99223

Ramondin USA Napa CA 707.944.2277 ramondin.com SAMPLES OR QUOTATIONS : sales@ramondinusa.com

All contents © 2017. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Neither Artisan Spirit Media nor ARTISAN SPIRIT magazine assume responsibility for errors in content, photos or advertisements. While ARTISAN SPIRIT makes every effort to ensure accuracy in our content, the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. We urge our readers to consult with professional service providers to meet their unique needs. At ARTISAN SPIRIT, we take the opportunity to enjoy many different craft spirits and adult beverages. However, it’s also our responsibility, and yours, to always drink responsibly. Know your limit, and never drink and drive. ARTISAN SPIRIT’s number one goal is to share and celebrate the art and science of artisan craft distilling. But please remember to follow all the laws, regulations, and safety procedures. Be safe, be legal and we can all be proud of the industry we love.


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filled with pages of content gathered to educate, inspire, challenge, and delight the minds of distillers. We work hard to ensure our ad-to-content ratio is low, ensuring a higher return on value for our readers and the companies seeking to reach them.








Artisan Spirit Magazine is proud to be



















A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: It’s become a tradition now. Spirits award celebrations must culminate in a “king” or “queen” diving into the closest frigid body of water. Last year it was Lake Michigan near Chicago, this year the Cumberland River in Nashville. The “Good Guy Distillers,” an informal group of friends and distilling comrades, celebrated wins for several members including top honors for Du Nord Craft Spirits and Sonoma County Distilling Company at the American Craft Spirits Association awards ceremony. Chris Montana of Du Nord and Adam Spiegel of Sonoma County shared the king’s crown this year by joining last year’s monarch, Randy Hudson of Triple Eight Distillery, in a brisk late night swim. It’s no secret that I’m madly in love with this group of distillers and the industry as a whole. Not just because of insane traditions like this, but because of what they represent — genuine pride in the success of fellow distillers. The distilling industry is changing little by little each day: buyouts, new investors, a growing number of startups, and a few closures, too. What’s striking is that distillers are competing for the same awards, customers, media attention, skilled employees, the list goes on, but through it all the industry keeps supporting its own. Have a question about filtration, barrel racks, or fermentation? Jump online and a dozen or more helpful men and women will provide any number of resources to assist their competitors. A part of me worries this might change any day. Luckily, every day my fears are proven false. Distillers are good people.

Brian Christensen

(509) 944-5919 brian@artisanspiritmag.com PO Box 31494, Spokane, WA 99223

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ue ilds contin istilling gu are ered to sh anize, and . They gath n o to grow, org ti n ve n o al c ntry. In CSA) annu nd the cou ciation’s (A o ss A it unify arou ir p ilds. We Craft S ng guild American of state gu p of distilli u e n ro io th g t lit a a a o e c ry e a ness Februa ing to build shville, Ten goal of help met in Na e s th ve y. ti h rywhere. tr it ta n w n u the co guilds eve represe mmittee d o te n c a u st ro ild a n u e g m th state n fro reng informatio the ACSA on, and st news and n, educati zine joined o a ti g a a rm M fo it ir in p ews, , Artisan S to share n In addition committee e th h it w ing rd to work look forwa


ALASKA DISTILLERS GUILD OF ALASKA The Distillers Guild of Alaska board doubled in size over the past year as our newest distilleries have received DSPs and are beginning production. Our newest distillery, just now bottling their first batch of vodka, is Hoarfrost Distilling in Fairbanks. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

There are now 10 operating DSPs in Alaska, each representing the unique attributes of their region of the state. The upcoming summer tourism season plays a vital role in operating the distilleries here, and tasting rooms will soon be welcoming in visitors from all over the world. There is a complete overhaul of the state’s alcoholic beverage laws in progress, and a bill is being introduced in the legislature this year to rewrite the existing laws. The guild has been an active participant in the stakeholder

group meetings throughout the process, and is working closely with legislators and partner industries to ensure that the hard-won direct retail sales and tasting room laws remain in place. We were not able to send an Alaskan distillery to the ACSA convention this year, but we welcome you all to come visit us up here in the North. You can travel by plane, boat, train, and dogsled! Heather Shade President Distillers Guild of Alaska


CALIFORNIA CALIFORNIA ARTISANAL DISTILLER’S GUILD California distilleries are enjoying the newly revamped type 74 license that was reworked

COLORADO COLORADO DISTILLERS GUILD The Colorado Distillers Guild has been busy so far in 2017. By the time this is published we should have passed SB-134, which will make our tasting rooms separate from the manufacturing side for LED enforcement actions. Effectively it will mean that if a bartender over-serves or serves an underage person, the fines will be based only on tasting room revenue, and you could continue manufacturing and wholesale

CONNECTICUT CONNECTICUT SPIRITS GUILD The CT Spirits Trail has started to formulate its marketing and legislative issues priorities and has put a few items into action. On the marketing side of things, we have started to utilize Facebook ads to get the word out about the trail. We are focusing our early efforts on the entire state of Connecticut, and over time we will branch out to our neighboring states of MA, NY, and RI as our state in general and our distilleries specifically are in close proximity to these states. We are starting to line up our plans to

FLORIDA FLORIDA CRAFT DISTILLERS GUILD Florida distillers have been busy with proposed legislation introduced by Senator Greg Steube. If passed, Florida bills SB-


with the help of state assemblyman Adam Gray. We had to make some slight changes to allow more California distilleries to obtain the direct to consumer license, which has resulted in more new distilleries and more license type changes immediately. The guild is busy this year working on professional

organization and planning two spirits events to increase awareness for guild members, which will be held in Northern and Southern California.

operations even if your tasting room were to be shut down. We are also hoping to introduce legislation allowing an additional three tasting rooms for a total of five. As well, we continue to defend SB-197 which passed last year, allowing multiple retail licenses, against attempts to create a new license that would allow only wine and beer, effectively closing the door to spirits in a large number of accounts. Beyond that we are now over 40 DSP, 10 Associate, one title (thanks Saver Glass) and 10 Distillers Circle Members, which has put the guild on our most solid financial footing since we were founded.

It was a blast last week to see a number of our members in Nashville for the ACSA convention, and even more fun to see the pile of medals that Colorado DSPs went home with. It really is amazing to see how strong both the industry and the guild have become in Colorado over the last few years. Oh, and it is one of the best winters in memory and we are all skiing bottomless powder everyday! Cheers,

partner with the United States Bartenders’ Guild CT chapter on kickoff events, providing their members with merchandise discounts at the distilleries, etc. We see events placed in on-premise locations to be a win-winwin for the trail, the USBG-CT, and the host restaurants. We are also starting to explore ways we can collaborate with our local industry trade publication, the CT Beverage Journal. Both the industry and consumers here in CT are starting to really come around to supporting local, so we of course will play to that trend. We are seeing more on-premise food/local beverage dinner pairings, many entailing two or more local distillery products on the beverage menu.

On the legislative issues side of things, we have brainstormed the issues and will begin to work within the state legislature and the three-tiered system to pursue our ability to sell cocktails in our tasting rooms. Today, we are not allowed to sell cocktails, but rather we sell our tours and provide a complimentary cocktail (capped at 2 ounces of our own product). Other legislative pursuits may include our ability to ship product to consumers, reduce taxation on distillers, and more leeway to operate as or with a restaurant in our tasting rooms.

166 and HB-141 will dramatically help the Florida distilling industry. The bills repeal outdated regulations from the 1930s, which regulate how customers can purchase spirits from local distilleries. The bill essentially provides craft distilleries similar access to markets and privileges that are currently

enjoyed by Florida's wineries and craft breweries. If passed, the bills would remove the current two bottles per person (per year) restriction and allow distilleries to sell drinks by the glass. The bill also would increase the annual limits from 75,000 gallons to 250,000. Growth in the distilling industry

Jim Harrelson CADG President 2016 - Present Head Yeti hunter at Do Good Distillery

P.T. Wood President, Colorado Distillers Guild ACSA Board Member Wood's High Mountain Distillery, LLC

Tom Dubay Hartford Flavor Company President, CT Spirits Trail


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helps strengthen local economies and create jobs. It also benefits tourism, one of Florida’s top economic drivers, by creating a new and unique experience for out-of-state visitors. There’s also state agriculture to think about. Craft distilleries support Florida’s farmers with sustainability efforts such as buying grains from local farmers and returning

ILLINOIS ILLINOIS CRAFT DISTILLERS ASSOCIATION In 2016, the Illinois Craft Distillers Association introduced our first bill which was ultimately passed providing craft distillers with an overall production increase, the ability to warehouse in a non-contiguous location and the creation of a special event tasting permit. In 2017 our goal is to continue to bring

MAINE MAINE DISTILLER’S GUILD The Maine Distiller’s Guild (MeDG) held their annual meeting in Gardiner, Maine on February 23, 2017 and welcomed two new members, Hardshore Distilling Company of Portland, and Doom Forest Distillery of Pittston, bringing membership to 14. Maine continues to expand the reach, quality, and variety of the craft beverage industry. MeDG made immense headway in 2016 with legislation that ended the archaic spirit transportation regulation. With all the extra time members are saving by not driving spirits

distilled grains to feed their cows free of charge. Other news and notes to mention, JLA Distillery in Orlando will be releasing their Black Ox Whiskey in April 2017, Kozuba & Sons Distillery in St. Petersburg recently won a Double Gold Medal for Best American Whiskey in The Fifty Best for their Prologue Single Malt Whiskey, and St. Augustine

Distillery released their limited Florida Port Finished Bourbon, which won a Triple Gold Medal in the MicroLiquor Awards.

awareness and garner support for the ICDA and what craft distillers in the state of Illinois bring to our economy, tourism and other producers in our state. We aim to align the priorities of our members and broaden our campaign to get recognition and updates to many antiquated laws. On a federal level the Craft Beverage Modernization Act has been introduced in both the House and Senate for FET reduction — SB 236 and HB 747 — and we have urged our members to reach out to their local representation to assist.

On a state level the ICDA has partnered with the ICBG (Illinois Craft Brewers Guild) and introduced SB 759 to modify the special use permit which would allow the transfer of product from a licensed location for retail sale at another location. This was a goal of our bill last year that was ultimately revised into the tasting permit. With the support of both guilds, we are hopeful this will make it through this year. Cheers,

up and down the state, the MeDG is looking ahead to marketing and legislative initiatives in 2017. The Maine Distillery Trail, through the website www.MaineDistillersGuild.org, launched in June 2016 and will continue to evolve and showcase the unique and varied members of the guild from across the state. The MeDG will also be focusing on building relationships with national craft spirit groups, Maine beverage guilds, state liquor control, the bar associations, restaurateurs, and spirit marketing groups with its target of developing a Maine spirit event. For legislation, the MeDG will be looking to other states for guidance and perspective with new legislation and lobbying efforts looking

Kara Pound Director of Communications St. Augustine Distillery

Matt Blaum Co-Founder/CEO/Distiller Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

MAINE DISTILLER’S GUILD OFFICERS President  Secretary  Treasurer 

Ian Michaud Liquid Riot Bottling Company Jeff Johnson Stroudwater Distillery Keith and Constance Bodine Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery

to ease the burden on distilleries. The guild will work to draft legislation following the examples of other states that enjoy a more favorable business climate for distilleries. Keith and Constance Bodine Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery

MICHIGAN MICHIGAN CRAFT DISTILLERS ASSOCIATION The Michigan Craft Distillers Association (MCDA) has named its 2017 Board of Directors:


»» President: Jon O’Connor — co-owner of Long Road Distillers, Grand Rapids.

»» Vice President: Kent Rabish —

founder and president of Grand Traverse Distillery, Traverse City.

»» Secretary: Rick Wyble — head distiller

and president at American Fifth Spirits, Lansing.

»» Treasurer: Dr. Kris Berglund —

owner and distiller at Red Cedar Spirits and Michigan State University Distinguished Professor of Food Science and Chemical Engineering, East Lansing.

»» Director: Don Coe — former owner of Black Star Farms and former Michigan Department of Agriculture


commissioner, Traverse City. Rabish, Berglund and Coe are incumbent founding board members; O’Connor and Wyble were just elected to their first twoyear terms. Coe will also serve as chair of the organization’s Legislative Committee, which is made up of a handful of members and the full board.

NEW MEXICO NEW MEXICO DISTILLERS GUILD The New Mexico Distillers Guild is pleased to welcome our newest member, Glencoe Distillery in Ruidoso, NM. We now represent six of the eight licensed craft distilleries in the state, and are happy to have two members

NEW YORK NEW YORK STATE DISTILLERS GUILD With our newly launched NYS distillery trail website (nydistilled.com), and now with over 65 operational distillery members, we’re poised to have our most active year to date. Mid-spring, distillery guild members will be invited to take part in this year’s Rochester Cocktail Revival, one of New York’s premier week-long cocktail festivals. Featuring education seminars, a NYS tasting tent, spirited pairing dinners, and bar

OREGON OREGON DISTILLERS GUILD The Oregon Distillers Guild just celebrated our seventh annual TOAST event here in Portland. With a 25 percent increase in attendance over last year, we had a conglomeration of more than 40 distilleries and producers, plus a plethora of food samples from some great local chefs. A highlight of the food spread was a full pig (fed on Ted Pappas’s Big Bottom Whiskey


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

MCDA currently represents more than two dozen distilleries with nearly 40 unique tasting room locations around the state, as well as a handful of distillery in-planning members and nearly 30 allied members.

from the southern part of our far-flung state. Greater membership equals greater support, which is all the more important given our lobbying efforts on the federal level for Federal Excise Tax (FET) reduction, and on the state level as we push for retail reciprocity for NM craft spirits to be sold by NM brewers and winegrowers (and vice versa), and the ability for our state’s spirits to be sold in restaurants holding beer and wine licenses.

All this while we are fending off a huge “25 Cent Drink Tax” which would raise NM state excise taxes to the highest in the nation. The 60-day state legislative session ends March 18, so stay tuned for results.

takeovers at 15 participating venues across Rochester, this is one week not to be missed. The festival runs from May 1 until May 7. Additionally, the New York State Distillers Guild has been invited to join in on the Taste NY Craft Beverage Gala. A promotional event featuring NYS beer, wine, cider, and spirits, it will be held at Pier A on the Hudson River across from the Statue of Liberty on May 24. This event will be fundamental in growing overall awareness of New York craft beverages and act as a first “teaser” glimpse to a New York Craft Beverage Week that will take place later this fall.

As our association grows, we’ve been met with the struggles of running the day-to-day operations and logistics while managing our own businesses. We’re happy to begin the search for an executive director to help us bring the New York State distilling industry to even greater heights. Building off of our existing momentum, we will continue to champion and preach the good word of New York state distilled spirits!

leftovers) that was slow cooked on-site and absolutely enjoyed by all. Just prior to TOAST, we had our annual general membership meeting, and with the recently updated bylaws, the ODG now has four state-wide zones, represented by five board members. There are two new members, Brad Irwin, Oregon Spirit Distillers (Zone 3 – Bend, OR) and Kevin Barrett, Swallowtail Spirits (Zone 4 – Springfield, OR), and we re-elected Christian Krogstad, House Spirits (at large – Portland, OR). Our active board members Tad Seestedt,

Ransom Distillery (Zone 2 – Sheridan, OR) and Rick Rickard, Rolling River Spirits (Zone 1 – Portland, OR), will continue with their two-year terms. As the guild continues to grow, with 33 active member distilleries, we are targeting to add more of the remaining 45-plus distilleries in the state. The board will hold its primary meeting in early April, at which time the new board will elect our next ODG president, since Ted Pappas’s (Big Bottom Distilling, ODG current president) term will come to a close at the

Dianna Stampfler Executive Director Michigan Craft Distillers Association www.micraftspirits.com

Dr. Greg McAllister Algodones Distillery NMDG Secretary/Treasurer (505) 301-9992 greg@algodonesdistillery.com

Cheers! Cory Muscato Lockhouse Distillery – Buffalo, NY President – New York State Distillers Guild


end of March. The ODG is advocating an avid no towards an additional $0.50 per bottle tax attempting to be imposed by the governor. Oregon


has one of the highest state liquor taxes in the nation, and this potential tax will add another layer of cost to the consumer. We are supporting Dr. Knute Buehler, our state

representative, who opposes this unfair tax. Rick Rickard Owner, Rolling River Spirits ODG Zone 1 Board Member

Here are some bullet points of the Pennsylvania Distillers Guild's activities for 2017:

»» Committee assignments: Legislative, Agricultural, Tourism, Membership »» Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board: Category Management to present full listing process presentation. 

Short but sweet! Rob Cassell

New Liberty Distillery

VIRGINIA VIRGINIA DISTILLERS ASSOCIATION The Virginia Distillers Association (VDA) is a 501(c)6 nonprofit private trade association focused on improving the regulatory, legislative and promotional environments for Virginia distillers. Founded by members of the Virginia spirits industry in June of 2016, the VDA’s mission is to “Provide economic growth and educational opportunities for the Virginia spirits industry.” In the past eight months of operations, VDA has already made significant strides, including:

»» The passage of recent legislation (SB 1448/HB 2029) which will allow Virginia DSPs to sell bottles for offpremise consumption at licensed festivals and events, effective July 1, 2017.

»» Development

of the statewide promotional campaign “September is Virginia Spirits Month” in 2016, which will be expanded upon for 2017. Virginia ABC has agreed to support the campaign for 2017 with a discount on all Virginia spirits sold during the month.


»» Partnerships with Virginia Economic

»» Bill Karlson, VDA board member and

Development and Virginia Tourism Corporation to develop a Virginia Spirits Trail (similar to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail) for culinary travelers.

partner for KO Distilling in Manassas, VA.

»» And much more! The Virginia Distillers Association Board of Directors is comprised of a group of volunteer peers who represent the interests of all Virginia distillers. Our Board of Directors sit on the VDA Board for two-year terms. VDA Executive Committee members include our president, vice president and secretary/ treasurer. Our leaders and entrepreneurs include:

»» Gareth Moore, VDA president/board member and CEO of Virginia Distillery Company in Lovingston, VA.

»» Will Dawson, VDA vice president/board member and owner of E. Wright & C. Wallace Distilleries, who manufactures Boar Creek Appalachian Whiskey in Hillsville, VA.

»» Kristi Croxton, VDA secretary and treasurer/board member and partner for James River Distillery in Richmond, VA.

»» Scott Harris, VDA board member and general manager for Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in Purcellville, VA.

The VDA also has experienced staff, including:

»» Amy Ciarametaro, VDA executive director. Amy Ciarametaro brings forth experience managing marketing, public relations and trade initiatives on behalf of the Virginia wine industry for the past eight years. Amy understands many of the dynamics at the state level, and the importance of having a central organization to initiate industry collaboration for legislation, marketing and education.

»» Curtis Coleburn, VDA government relations. Curtis Coleburn served as the chief operating officer of Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control for over 20 years, presiding over the agency and its 350-plus stores statewide. Curtis has extensive knowledge of the regulatory environment, manufacturing, distribution and sales of alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth. For more info on the Virginia Distillers Association, visit www.virginiaspirits.org. Amy Ciarametaro Executive Director Virginia Distillers Association




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WASHINGTON WASHINGTON DISTILLERS GUILD The legislative session is in full swing, and this has been our most aggressive year to date. We are attempting to unify the WA distillery industry so we can go after legislation that makes a significant impact to the bottom line of all distillers. HB 2099 to unify license types: WA state offers two licenses — the craft license, and a general distiller license. The craft license requires the use of 50 percent or more WA grown ingredients. For that, the holder of that license does not have to pay a 17 percent fee for bottle sales made

WISCONSIN WISCONSIN DISTILLERS GUILD The Wisconsin Distillers Guild was founded in 2014 to amplify the energy of the state’s modern distilling industry. Members join together to promote the production of high quality spirits in Wisconsin, utilization of local ingredients, recognition of the Wisconsin distilling industry, and advocate for more favorable federal and state regulations. The Guild welcomes licensed distilleries as full members, and offers an associate membership for supporting businesses



making up to 4.5 oz per person per day. We’re also looking for permission to create private labels for on-premise and off-premise accounts, and to allow noncontiguous warehouses for barrel storage. All the bills are still in flight at this time. On March 11, 2017 the WDG will hold the second annual South Sound Spirits Gathering. That event is now up to 25 WA distilleries, and is expected to sell 200 tickets. Funds raised from that event will be used to build the WA Distillery Trail website, develop an improved website, and begin a third annual event to be held in November.

looking to network with our members. The Guild also offers an enthusiast membership level for individuals with a strong interest in handcrafted spirits. The Guild’s website provides resources to member distilleries, people interested in opening new distilleries in Wisconsin, and vendors and service providers for distilleries. As distillers, we have common needs, goals and challenges. The Guild, through this site, provides advice and inspiration for people interested in our craft. Members gain access to the members-only portion of the website which hosts classifieds, forums, and critical updates about laws and regulations affecting Wisconsin distilleries.

Please join the Wisconsin Distillers Guild for the Third Annual Meeting at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells on Sunday January 22, 2017, 1:00 – 4:00 PM. This is a great opportunity to meet with other leaders in the distilling industry, discuss topics that impact our businesses, and set priorities for the upcoming year. For more information, please visit wisconsindistillersguild.com.

Jason Parker Co-Founder/President Copperworks Distilling Co.

Amy Czaplewski, wisconsindistillersguild@gmail.com

! d suppliers distillers an ft ra c f o e nc llow guilds. tional audie reach a na d inspire fe n to a y s, it e n g u n rt o alle opp ur latest ch out on this s to solve yo n Don’t miss io st e g g su VED! rs, request it supporte O GET INVOL

SING? TE GUILD MIS recru A T S R U O Y IS victories, late Share your

from their tasting room, and the annual license fee is reduced from $2,100 to $110. The board of the WDG, and a super majority of the membership of WA distillers would like to see the licenses joined. Why? Because both the legislature and the LCB have repeatedly asked for a unified voice before they consider difficult issues, such as reducing the state spirit sales tax (currently at 20.5 percent) and allowing all distilleries to make products competitive with those on WA state shelves, even if the raw material is not available in the state. This bill has unleashed lots of drama, and has an uncertain outcome. In other bills, the WDG is proposing to allow distilleries (both licenses types) to sell adulterated samples of their own





CT, NY Launch Guild Websites and Trails W R I TT E N B Y C H R I S L O Z I E R


his winter, two neighboring distilling guilds in the Northeast launched consumer-focused websites and trails to encourage more interest in their members’ distilleries and spirits. In November, the Connecticut Spirits Guild released the CT Spirits Trail map, website, and Facebook page, and the New York State Distillers Guild kick-started their NY Distilled website at an event in February. Considering that the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) Craft Spirits Data Project found that 25 percent of sales for small distillers occur at the distillery, both efforts look to be successful business drivers for the featured distilleries. In addition, both states already have other popular food and beverage tourism trails, which has helped familiarize consumers with the model.

CT Spirits Trail When Tom Dubay of Hartford Flavor Company in Hartford, Connecticut had the idea to start a distillery trail, he sent an email to other CT distillers asking if they would be interested in participating. “Probably 80 percent of the folks just


chimed back real quick and said, ‘Yeah, we’re in, we’re in,’ so it didn’t really take much to get the initial membership up,” says Dubay. “Everybody’s been really collaborative and really understanding of how if we all work together all the boats should rise.” The CT Spirits Trail operates like many sip trip trails. Each distillery a trail-goer visits will stamp their map after they make a purchase or take a tour, and once the trail map is fully stamped, that person is entered in a generous twice-a-year drawing. First place gets a basket of every SKU produced by the participating distilleries, while second place wins one bottle from each. After launching in November with 11 distilleries, Dubay says some people already had four or more stamps on their map by January. More distilleries are expected to join within the year, and Dubay says they anticipate seeing a lot of trail-goers during the tourist season. “Within 100 miles of the center of Connecticut, which is Hartford, there are 25 million people,” including New York City and Boston, he tells. “We’re just so well situated geographically that there’s a huge opportunity.” Thus far, guild members have taken maps to convention centers and airport kiosks around the state, and they may hire a tourism publication distribution service to ensure wider and more consistent map distribution. This year they are focusing on promoting the trail in-state, and they plan to expand into neighboring states in the future. They are also promoting the trail at events like the Eastern States Exposition, where over 500,000 people had the

chance to see their map over the course of two weeks. They also have a website and a Facebook page. In addition to the guild’s efforts, local newspaper, magazine, radio and television outlets have covered the trail. The state tourism board is also featuring it on their website, and Dubay thinks the board recognizes that the spirits trail has a strong potential to create tourism, just like the already-existing CT Wine and CT Beer trails. Dubay says the trail has also developed a partnership with a local tour company that provides van trips for the CT Beer Trail. They now offer tours featuring both breweries and distilleries, helping CT beer fans discover CT spirits, and vice versa. In addition to generating tourism, the trail also serves as common ground for strengthening the CT Spirits Guild, and a small part of the guild fee will go towards maintaining and promoting the trail. “We’re kind of in the mode of crawl, walk, run in terms of that marketing budget,” he explains. “We’re all trying to build our own brands individually, but then make sure we’ve got a little left over at least to get the trail going.” Connecticut is a small state, and Dubay says that’s a benefit since trail-goers can fill their map with stamps in several months, compared to larger states. It also helped them get up and running faster. All told, it took about three months to get the trail going. Dubay says that the rewards have definitely outweighed the effort to get it started, and he recommends other distillers consider creating their own trails, as well. “It’s pretty simple if you’re going to create


a LLC, you know, just to make a legal entity out of it, and that’s pretty cheap, as well,” Dubay explains. “So between pretty cheap and pretty quick and simple, I really don’t think there’s any reason not to do it. Especially if you can create regions of a larger state to act as a trail, or if you’re in a smaller state to make the whole thing a trail. It just seems like you can go one or two different ways and make it work.”

NY Distilled Given that New York is a much larger state than Connecticut, The New York State Distillers Guild took the route of separating their state into six sections for their new NY Distilled website: Albany/ Northern; Central; Finger Lakes; Hudson Valley; Metro NYC; and Western. Distilleries must be guild members to be featured, and over 60 distilleries are already listed. “We probably have another 30 or 40 potential distilleries to try to recruit for the site and to be part of our guild,” tells guild president Brian McKenzie of Finger Lakes Distilling in Burdett, NY. “Our goal would be to push that over 100 in the next year.” Trails may come later, and in fact some

distilleries have already organized their own, but the primary focus for the website at this time is listing distilleries and their offerings so people can search by places, products, and amenities to schedule their own trips. The site has filters so visitors can search for distilleries that make particular spirits, like bourbon, or distilleries that have bars or tasting rooms on-site. Educational sections about distilling science and New York state distilling history are also featured, including a timeline of distilling in New York. McKenzie says the site is still evolving as the guild and design firms have been working on the project for over a year and a half. Funding came from the guild and Empire State Development, a state-run business improvement and job creation agency. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a state government that’s gotten behind the industry in the last three to four years,” tells McKenzie. “Governor Cuomo actually earmarked some money for various craft beverage sectors, and it was a promotional grant that we received to help develop and build the site. It paid for the designers’ time and photographers and all the stuff that was critical to getting the project done.” In addition to the website development, McKenzie said some additional state money supported the website launch party on February 8 at the GrowNYC Project Farmhouse in New York City. Twenty-five distillers poured samples of their spirits at the launch for a crowd of over 150, who

came to learn about the website and New York’s distilling industry. Right now, the website is the touchstone for the NY Distilled project, though McKenzie says paper maps and literature may be printed in the future as trails and other projects develop. “We’re starting to put together some ideas in terms of marketing the website and trying to bring attention to New Yorkdistilled products,” McKenzie explains. “We’re going to be putting together some canvas bags with the branding on it, stickers, things like that just to promote the overall site.” In contrast to Dubay’s experience organizing the relatively-compact CT Spirits Trail, McKenzie says NY Distilled has been a big project. He said it wasn’t quick to produce, it required a lot of collaboration, and it is still a work in progress. That said, he and the rest of the team are very proud of what they have created. “We feel like getting people to those locations to see firsthand how those products are made, and taste it right at the site of production, is really going to benefit our businesses,” says McKenzie. “That’s why we thought this website was so important for us, collectively. Before this there wasn’t one place to go where you could learn about all the products being made throughout the state, so we’re really excited to get that out as a tool, so people can start coming to see us a lot more frequently.”

For more info on the Connecticut Spirits Trail visit www.ctspiritstrail.com. For more info on NY Distilled visit www.nydistilled.com.

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Leaders effectively working to secure outcomes that are consistent with the aim of the organization.


he American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) mission seeks to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers. Under that rubric, one of its most important charges is to continue the fight to change the economic landscape for craft distillers on Capitol Hill. How? The 115th Congress provides ample opportunity. The new Congress returned to Washington on January 3, 2017 with Congressional leaders advising that major tax reform will be one of the highest priorities for the new GOP majority. This provides the craft spirits industry with its best opportunity to insert parity for distilled spirits under the Federal Excise Tax (FET) into a tax bill that is likely to go to the President’s desk. The fight for fairness for the craft distilling industry started back in February 2011. With a mere 15 co-sponsors, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (now retired) of New York dropped the first bill to provide tax parity for the craft industry. Fast forward to 2015, ACSA spearheaded and funded an earnest effort to get this legislation passed. Remarkably, within a year, the craft spirits industry, joined by small brewers and vintners, had two bills introduced in the Senate and the House. The Senate bill from Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) garnered 51 cosponsors, a majority of the 100 Senators. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

In the House, Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) had 288 co-sponsors — nearly two-thirds of the U.S. House. There was a concerted, industry-wide effort in 2016 to pass this bill, but with the election of President Trump and the GOP controlling both the House and Senate, it was decided by the Congressional leadership that rather than pass a tax “extenders” bill in December, the new majorities would work on a more comprehensive bill in 2017. During the first month of this new Congress, the momentum continued. On January 30, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) reintroduced the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), now S. 236. The bill parallels the past proposed legislation to include a reduction in the Federal Excise Tax (FET) from $13.50 to $2.70 for the first 100,000 proof gallons of spirits, an 80 percent reduction in the FET for craft producers, and finally parity in the tax code for our industry. It also helps small brewers and vintners. Like before, every major wine, beer and spirits group has endorsed the bill. At a time when Congress seems so divided, a bipartisan group of 11 other Senators joined, which includes Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE); Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS); Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); Sen. Jerry

Moran (R-KS); Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA); Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH); Sen. Michael Bennet, (D-CO); Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV); Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI); and Sen. Corey Gardner (R-CO). Shortly thereafter, Sen. Tom Tillis (R-NC) and Amy Klobuchar (DMN) signed on. On the same day, in the U.S. House of Representatives a companion bill, H.R. 747, was introduced by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI). As of this writing, 37 House members have joined the bill as co-sponsors. This now represents the largest opportunity we have had for parity to date, and we need your help and support now more than ever. Tax reform will likely begin in the House in May, the month when the House could complete its version of tax reform. The Senate would then act after the House and the two bodies would agree on a plan before Congress adjourns in early August. It is an ambitious schedule, but not unlike the Reagan, Clinton and Bush tax bills, all of which happened in this time frame.

OUR ROLE: ACSA AND YOU What can the craft distilling industry do? ACSA will continue to mobilize support for these bills through your individual action, your state guilds, and walking the halls of Congress on your behalf.


DRAFT LETTER TO CONGRESS I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor H.R. 747 or S.236. (select one) I am a craft distiller in your state. My business is relatively new, but our industry has been growing over the past few years. Federal Excise Taxes (FET) on distilled spirits are among the nation’s highest, comprising 54% of the typical spirits product’s purchase price. That hurts my ability to reinvest — monthly taxes consume any potential profit. In other words, craft distillers, like me, are paying the government more than they earn. Today, a craft spirits producer pays six times more FET than a craft brewer and 17 times more FET than a small winery for equal quantities of beverage alcohol. That is because the tax code does not provide parity for our industry. We need a reduced FET for small distillers, just as there is a lower rate for small wineries and craft brewers. This is an oversight that needs to be corrected. Our industry is supporting U.S. jobs on main street, in tourism, manufacturing and agriculture. Our growth and that of our broad supplier base is hindered, however, by the unfair federal tax treatment. The legislation fixes this issue and also helps craft brewers and vintners. In fact, it is a united industry — spirits, beer, and wine are in agreement that this legislation is pivotal to our growth. This is why in the last Congress, 288 House members and 51 Senators co-sponsored similar legislation. We hope you will consider adding your name to this bill, and work to make sure it is included in comprehensive tax reform the Congress is likely to pass in 2017. I’m happy to discuss with you or your legislative team if you have questions. Even better, please come visit. It would be our honor to host you and show you how an agricultural product, clearly one farmed in America, is transformed into a spirit unequivocally Made in America. Sincerely,  (your name here)


We need to move the co-sponsorship levels to those of the last Congress or beyond. Those numbers help when we press the tax committees and Congressional leaders to make this part of tax reform. While that might seem easy, it is not. The tax bill’s purpose is to broadly reduce tax rates and make the tax code less complex. Industry-specific bills will face a tough climb. But, given the support of our industry and our supplier base, we think it is achievable if our industry stays motivated. How can we secure more sponsors for the CBMTRA? Set up meetings or visits to your place of business and give tours of the distillery. This is the most effective tool to spread our message and develop a relationship with members of Congress. Key time periods usually are weekends and sometimes Mondays and Fridays based on the Congressional schedule. The next Congressional recess is April 10-21. Even if your Representative or Senator cannot visit, invite key legislative staff. Each will take the message home. If a visit is unlikely, call and/or email the Congressional office voicing support for S. 236 and H.R. 747. Don’t delay this. This zip code finder at http://www.house.gov/representatives/ will help you find your U.S. Representative with contact information. Senators can be found at https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/. If you call the Washington D.C. office, ask for the staff person that works on tax issues. Additionally, reach out locally and personally visit district offices or contact the district director. That is typically the most senior person working for the Congressman or Congresswoman back home. So, you’re in the district office. Now what? Share your story. Explain who you are, how many people you employ, your outreach to the local community, your interaction with the agricultural and tourism sectors, and how a reduction could help you put the money back into the state economy and grow jobs on a local level. The key message for members of Congress is that our industry is growing, but needs help from Washington to continue adding jobs — nearly all of which are U.S.-based. There are now an estimated 1,400 craft distilleries in the U.S. employing over 12,000 people. This is up from 200 or so producing craft distilleries in 2010. Investments in our industry are close to $300 million. The growth of craft distilling is supporting main street, small business job growth, tourism and locally-sourced products, much like craft beer and small wineries. Paint the picture clearly and vividly. By passing S. 236 or H.R. 747, craft distillers and their small business partners have the potential to grow even more with a change in tax policies at the federal level. Members of Congress must be reminded that we need parity with craft brewers and small vintners in the FET. Become our partner in this energized, transformational battle. Our legislative affairs committee can provide lots of support — contact them at legislation@americancraftspirits.org. Working together, we remain optimistic that our advocacy will prevail.

Margie A.S. Lehrman is Executive Director of American Craft Spirits Association. Visit www.americancraftspirits.org for more information on ACSA and to join. Contact James E. Hyland, Esq. by emailing Jim@PennsylvaniaAvenueGroup.com.












Heartland Spirits Fest - Chicago Whiskey Competition - May 18th Consumer Tasting Event - May 20th - Concord Music Hall, Chicago IL Sponsored by several state corn grower associations

Whiskey Competition • • • • •

Sanctioned by American Craft Spirits Association Distinguished mixologists selected to judge Overall show winner and individual state winners PR campaign Entries limited to: • Some use of fermented corn mash • Heartland state distilleries • State winners limited to participating corn states • Listed whiskey categories • American Craft Spirits members receive discount • Award winners: bottle ribbons, certificate • Tasting notes to all participants • Tasting notes to all participant For more Information as well as Submission Guidelines and Entry Instructions, visit the American Craft Spirits Association website at www.americancraftspirits.org

Consumer Tasting Event • • • • • • • •

Anticipate 50+ distilleries sampling all spirits Participating distilleries will sample spirits and special cocktails Organizers will purchase spirits from participants for sampling Organizers do 20+ major consumer spirits events/year 1,000+ consumers expected VIP preview will include Chicago-based distributors Event will include live music and food trucks Concord Music Hall in hip and edgy Chicago Neighborhood between Logan Square and Wicker Park

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interest in the overall spirits category — not just their brand, but n February 7, the Distilled Spirits Council presented their the overall category,” he explains. “Additionally, when you have annual economic briefing in New York City, and like previous local businessmen that are advocating for changing modernization years, U.S. distilled spirits sales continue to grow. laws, it really helps you out politically at the state and local level.” For the seventh consecutive year, U.S. distilled spirits suppliers have gained beverage alcohol market share in relation to wine and beer, growing half a percent to hold 35.9 percent of the market. Several spirits Also a recurring trend, revenue continues to grow faster than categories did very volume, meaning consumers are seeking higher-priced products. well in 2016. Vodka, While U.S. supplier volumes grew by 2.4 percent to 220 million which accounts for nine-liter cases in 2016, revenue grew by 4.5 percent to $25.2 nearly a third of the U.S. spirits billion. That’s about $1.1 billion higher than 2015. market, grew at 4.1 percent by revenue, The Council separates products into four categories by price and much of that growth was in the Super point, and those prices vary for each spirit category relative to that Premium category. Cognac revenues were up 15.3 percent, and category’s average pricing. Level one is “Value,” two is “Premium,” tequila revenues were up 7.5 percent. It was also another great three is “High End,” and four is “Super Premium.” While each year for whiskey. spirit category performs differently, David Ozgo, the Council’s senior Reflecting previous years, U.S. consumers’ love for Irish whiskey vice president of economics and strategic analysis, says that since grew again in 2016. Volumes were up 18.7 percent to 3.8 million the recession much of the overall spirits growth has happened in cases, and revenues grew at 19.8 percent to arrive at $795 million. the High End and Super Premium categories. He says this is a good Purchases of Canadian whisky tended towards higher priced thing for suppliers. offerings, with volume growing 2.4 percent while revenue grew “Super Premium accounts for only 9.5 percent of industry 5.8 percent, helping to boost the North American whiskey market, volume, but it accounts for 22 percent of industry revenue,” Ozgo which includes U.S. and Canadian whiskeys. explains. “So clearly, the more you can move a consumer up the “Since 2010, we’ve added 11.7 million cases in the North chain, the more revenue you can generate for the industry.” American whiskey market. We’re now up to around 48.4 million Ozgo reported that since 2008, U.S. suppliers have gained total cases,” tells Ozgo. “When we look at the revenue, we’ve added $7 billion, and nearly all of that was concentrated in the higher $2 billion in revenue just from the North American whiskey market priced categories. “We’ve really seen some exceptional growth, since 2010, growing in 2016 from $5.4 billion up to $5.7 billion.” and it’s really being driven by those High End and Super Premium “Breaking that category down a little further, American whiskey products. It’s really a good story to tell.” has been a real, true success story Many factors are driving that growth, but for the last four or five years,” he Local craft distillers Ozgo says several definitely stand out. continues. “In 2016, volumes are up Spirits offer a unique experience and really helped drive 6.8 percentage points to about 21.8 often an authentic story, both of which interest in the overall million nine-liter cases — that’s a gain consumers are looking for. By appealing of about 1.4 million cases. Revenues grew spirits category — to those consumer desires, spirits have even faster, by 7.7 percent. We saw strength not just their brand, gained a stronger presence in popular across all price categories in 2016.” culture. but the overall category.” In previous years, much of the whiskey Ozgo also credited small distillers growth came from flavored products, but — DAVID OZGO for some of the growth. “Local 2016 growth was driven by traditional whiskey SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, craft distillers really helped drive DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL categories like Canadian, bourbon, Tennessee




and blended. Rye whiskey grew another 17 percent by volume, continuing the strong growth of previous years. Ozgo says one of the questions the Council is often asked is how long the growth of American whiskeys can continue. Each year the category outdoes itself, and many wonder if and when sales will plateau. While anything could happen, Ozgo says it’s helpful to look to the past for clues about the future. “In 1970 we did 80 million nine-liter cases, but the number of legal drinking age adults was only 122 million,” explains Ozgo. “Today, there are around 233 million legal drinking age adults and we’re only at 50 million cases.” Given that information, the potential to grow back to, or exceed, that 80-million case peak seems promising. Whiskey continues It’s clear from to lead U.S. the research that supplier consumers want exports, at 70 percent modernization and of the total equal treatment for value shipped, spirits products… and 56 percent of the volume. and a significant “American whiskey, majority think taxes in terms of volume, should be the same for has almost doubled over the past decade,” spirits, beer, explains the Council’s and wine.” senior vice president of international trade, — KRAIG R. NAASZ PRESIDENT AND CEO, Christine LoCascio. DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL Due to a strong dollar, export values for U.S. spirits are projected to be down 9.3 percent from 2015, but volumes are projected to grow at 6.8 percent. One of the big drivers of export growth has come from the combined efforts of the Council, the United States Department of Agriculture, and private suppliers, who have promoted U.S. spirits in 17 different countries since 2005. LoCascio says that’s paying off.

“We’ve been participating in a show in Berlin the past few years, and those efforts have helped to generate $3.3 million in new exports to Central and Eastern Europe as a result of contacts that were made specifically at that event,” she explains. Overall, the Council is projecting $1.42 billion in exports for 2016.


Several of the presenters said both suppliers and consumers are asking for legislative and market modernization, and they offered examples of 2016 changes which they believe will be beneficial to the industry. Connecticut, New York, and West Virginia passed “brunch bills” which allow alcohol to be served earlier in the day, Colorado allowed beer, wine, and spirits sales in grocery stores, more states allowed on-site tastings, and there were 21 wet-dry alcohol wins across the country. One of the strongest drivers of modernization is the desire for parity with other alcohol beverage makers like brewers and winemakers. The Council’s president and CEO Kraig R. Naasz explains, “It’s clear from the research that consumers want modernization and equal treatment for spirits products. Sixty-five percent support having the choice to buy spirits in grocery stores alongside beer and wine. Similarly, 65 percent believe the regulations for all forms of alcohol should be the same … and a significant majority think taxes should be the same for spirits, beer, and wine.” During the question and answer session following the presentation, several people asked if the Council had any predictions regarding the recent elections and political changes. Naasz said it’s too early to tell, but he advises suppliers to be patient. Distilled spirits are unique relative to many other manufactured products, he says, and have more options to fight or circumvent detrimental tax reforms. “In my conversations with our member companies, their CEOs and executive leadership teams, I’ve told them to take a breath,” says Naasz. “We are well positioned, and have been for a long time, to ensure that our concerns and views are heard by the folks that are going to be writing tax reform.”

Visit www.discus.org for more info on the Distilled Spirits Council.










he American Distilling Institute’s 14th annual Conference and Vendor Expo remains the largest gathering of licensed distillers in the world and it is getting bigger. At press time, registration for the conference in Baltimore, April 3-6, is two weeks ahead of last year’s numbers. ADI expects 1,700 – 1,800 total attendees, which will break last year’s attendance record of 1,500. Approximately 58 percent of current registrants are distillers. ADI’s 11th Annual Judging of Craft American Spirits also grew, receiving 802 entries, an increase of 24 percent. In addition to improving over last year’s numbers, the quality of the spirits entered increased greatly, yielding the largest number of awards the organization has ever recognized. Winners will be announced Tuesday night, April 4, at the ADI Conference. As craft distilling goes worldwide, the ADI Conference will feature The Australian Distillers’ Guild, who are sending a delegation to Baltimore to talk about distilling down under. Distillers from 34 states and the District of Columbia have registered, as well as eight foreign countries. ADI will again show its heartfelt support for women by hosting a networking luncheon for the Ladies of American Distilling, Wednesday, April 5. Last year’s luncheon was attended by 120 women. In addition to these events, the conference will feature more than 70 breakout sessions and more than a dozen workshops at every level of distilling knowledge. The keynote address will be delivered by Karen Hoskin of Montanya Distillers. Hoskin founded Montanya with her husband Brice Hoskin in 2008. As CEO and president, she stays active in day-to-day production, distillation and bottling, while managing national sales and marketing, brand development, product development, web design, human resources and their busy cocktail bar and restaurant. Hoskin has been a dynamic force in advocating for the distilling community as a whole, while building a brand that is recognized nationally for its quality. She is the recipient of the ADI’s Bubble Cap Award for 2013 Distillery of the Year. In her words, “What an incredible honor to be chosen to give this address. ADI was there for me from the first day that I started this company almost a decade ago, and it continues to educate and support me. The craft spirits industry has come so far so fast. It really matters that we take time to reflect and plan together.”

Andrew Faulkner is vice president of American Distilling Institute. For more information visit www.distilling.com. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  





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Nino Marcheti, editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash



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s the number of domestic craft breweries, distilleries, cideries and wineries continues to grow, so do the number of lawyers eager to assist these producers. Many believe it’s time to help increase the overall knowledge and professionalism of attorneys representing W R I TT E N BY RYA N M A L K I N craft producers. So, with that in mind a coalition of both attorneys from law firms and in-house counsel came together to Additionally, the CBLG is a resource for more craft privileges in the state, form the Craft Beverage Lawyers Guild for producers. Comprised of alcohol law HR concerns, contracts with suppliers, (“CBLG”) in 2017, and is now accepting attorneys from across America, the CBLG fundraising, or terminating a distributor. members. can help brewers, vintners, distillers and The faster a producer grows, the more legal What is the CBLG? The founding other producers connect with an attorney counsel the producer likely needs. The members of the CBLG are experienced for your specific need. The guild also serves CBLG can assist the continued growth of attorneys who dedicate their practices to as an educational outlet, conducting public the craft movement by making competent representing craft alcoholic seminars and publishing attorneys, knowledgeable in the industry, beverage producers educational writings easily accessible to producers. and want to ensure that the through accessible blogs Whether you are an in-house counsel or an producers across the FOUNDING and posted articles. attorney currently representing producers, MEMBERS country are able to find an Anyone selling their you can improve your practice as well as of the CBLG: attorney who has both the craft beverage products your professionalism by joining the CBLG. counsel they need and the in more than one state We have both full and associate members. Shauna Barnes experience they deserve. knows the complexities A full member must be an attorney in Richard Blau The CBLG has a twofold of navigating the good standing who predominantly provides mission. First, it exists to alcohol beverage rules services to those in the craft beverage Joseph Davis establish a cooperative across state lines, let industry and has been practicing law for Paul Havel relationship among its alone in all 50 states. at least seven years. An associate member members, while providing a Joseph M. Infante Producers are (or need may be an attorney in good standing who resource to maintain a high to be) keenly aware of does not yet qualify for full membership. Eric Lent level of legal representation the various issues that Membership is $750 per year. Please visit Ryan Malkin for the craft industry. The arise unrelated to simply www.cblg.org for more information. CBLG’s seasoned members Alva C. Mather running a brewery, winery We look forward to continuing to support are here to educate and cidery or distillery. On you. Eugene M. Pak support those members any given day, a craft Marcus Reed who may be just getting beverage producer could Visit www.cblg.org for more information on the started in the industry. Marc Sorini be dealing with lobbying Craft Beverage Lawyers Guild.

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ith articles about the “magic” of turning employees into company owners popping up in the New York Times and The Atlantic last fall, Employee Stock Ownership Plans are becoming part of the mainstream vernacular. Referred to by those in the know as “ESOPs” (pronounced “ee-SAHP”), these specialty retirement plans are a popular—and tax effective— way for companies to manage succession planning. When structured properly, an ESOP can provide huge financial benefits to companies and their employees alike. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, there are almost 7,000 ESOPs currently in place. About 10 million people—more people than currently live in the state of Washington— actively participate in an ESOP today. There have been several craft brewers who have taken advantage of the ESOP structure in the past year, and we expect this trend to pique the interest of craft distilleries. This article explores at a very high level some of the issues involved with starting and maintaining a craft distillery ESOP.

STRUCTURING THE ESOP An ESOP can be structured to allow the owner—usually the founder—to cash out some or all of their equity in a craft distillery while retaining operational WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

control, if so desired. At the same time, the craft distilling operation itself can benefit from tax savings and access to a unique corporate financing strategy. The most common use of an ESOP is to sell all or part of an owner’s interest in a closely-held corporation on a taxadvantaged basis. This strategy provides four main benefits:

1. The ESOP provides a ready market for the stock, where one might not otherwise exist.

2. The transaction can be funded by the company with pretax dollars, as long as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines are met.

3. The

selling shareholder may continue to be involved in both the management and operation of the company.

4. The selling shareholder can benefit from significant income, estate, and gift tax advantages. There are two basic forms of ESOPs: Leveraged ESOPs — An ESOP funded with the proceeds of a loan. By far the most common type of ESOPs. Non-leveraged ESOPs — An ESOP that is not attached to any debt. To form a leveraged ESOP a company generally will borrow money on the credit of the company, or key officers within the company, and then use that money to

Marc E. Sorini is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, based in the Firm’s Washington D.C. office. He leads the Firm’s Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Group, where he concentrates his practice on regulatory and litigation issues faced by suppliertier industry members. His practice for distillers includes distribution agreements, distribution counseling and litigation, product formulation, labeling, promotional compliance, compliance strategy, and federal and state tax and trade practice enforcement defense. purchase company stock for the ESOP to keep in trust for the benefit of company employees. To do this, the company will first need to draft the documents necessary to create an ESOP. The company will then appoint a trustee to manage the ESOP. Next, the trustee, on behalf of the newly-created ESOP, will either borrow money from a bank, with the company guaranteeing the loan, or borrow money from the company. Using the loan proceeds, the trustee can then buy stock from an existing shareholder (generally the owner) or from the company itself. The purchased shares will then be placed in a suspense account WHEN to be allocated STRUCTURED to employee accounts over PROPERLY, time. As the AN ESOP CAN loan is repaid, PROVIDE HUGE shares of FINANCIAL company stock are BENEFITS TO periodically COMPANIES released into AND THEIR e m p l o y e e accounts within EMPLOYEES the ESOP. ALIKE. In practice, most bank lenders prefer to lend money directly to the company sponsoring the ESOP. In these situations, called “backto-back loan structures,” the company will obtain a bank loan and then lend the proceeds of that loan to the ESOP. The loan from the company to the ESOP does


not have to be on the same terms as the loan from the bank to the company, but— due to certain rules regarding “Prohibited Transactions” and “Fiduciary Duties” that are detailed below—any loan from the sponsoring company to the ESOP must be as fair to the ESOP as an equivalent “arm’s length” transaction. Generally, a leveraged ESOP enables a company to deduct both principal and interest payments as it makes them to the ESOP for the purpose of repaying the company or bank-provided ESOP loan.

CRAFT DISTILLERY ESOPs Craft distilling continues to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.4 percent in volume, quickly following in the footsteps of the more mature craft brewery industry. Craft spirit advocates project an increase from 4.9 million cases in 2015 to as much as 25.6 million cases by 2020 if the industry is to achieve similar market share to that of the craft brewery industry. A 2015 study backed by the American Craft Spirits ESOPS Association reports that craft distilling SEEM achieved $2.4 TO BE A billion in retail PERFECT sales in 2015, and CULTURAL FIT craft producers now control FOR A CLOSELY2.2 percent in HELD CRAFT volume sales, up DISTILLER sharply from 0.8 UNINTERESTED percent control in 2010. IN SELLING Craft brewers have “BIG.” recently found the ESOP model to be a natural fit for succession planning and liquidity purposes. In the midst of the $13 billion craft brewery deal market, pioneering craft brewers like New Belgium, Deschutes, Harpoon, and Full Sail chose the ESOP model over selling to competitors or private equity. ESOPs similarly seem to be a perfect cultural fit for a closely-held craft distiller uninterested in selling “big.” Many craft distilleries are employee-centric and


operated and managed by entrepreneurs who may wish to avoid “going corporate.” An ESOP can help keep ownership and management at a local level by gradually transitioning control to employees over time. Structured properly, an ESOP can help the owners of the distillery turn their equity into cash while still maintaining control and influence over the craft distillery. The market for lending is also favorable to entrepreneurs looking to convert their craft distillery to an ESOP through the use of leverage. Low interest rates and prices set on the present value of future cash flows allow business owners to convert their shares in craft distilleries to cash while still maintaining a degree of control over the distillery.

YOU MEAN THERE ARE MORE REGULATIONS I’LL NEED TO COMPLY WITH? Just like the complex alcohol beverage regulatory structure a craft distillery must navigate on a daily basis, ESOPs are governed by complex regulations including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (or “ERISA”) as well as the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). ERISA requires that any company that creates an ESOP, and any individual that sells shares to that ESOP, does so only in the best interest of the workers—the people who actually expect a portion of their retirement savings to consist of stock in the company for which they work. The key motivation for many ESOP transactions in closely-held companies taxed under subchapter C of the Code is the ability of the selling shareholder to defer capital gains tax on his or her sale of shares to an ESOP under Code Section 1042. Code Section 1042 requires that upon completion of the sale, the ESOP own at least 30 percent of the outstanding shares of each class of company stock, or stock representing 30 percent of the value of all company stock. Whatever the company’s motivation, the first order of business for any craft distiller considering an ESOP is to appoint a trustee

to help navigate the obstacles posed by ERISA and the Code. Appointed by the craft distiller’s board of directors, the trustee’s responsibilities will include:


Purchasing company stock on behalf of the contemplated ESOP.

»» »»

Analyzing proposed transactions.


Reviewing and understanding the officer compensation structure and how it compares to market compensation.


Voting employer securities that are held by the ESOP.

Reviewing and understanding the company’s financial statements.

The board of directors in selecting an ESOP trustee has several decisions to make including:


How will the ESOP trustee serve, i.e., discretionary or directed.


Whether to use an internal or institutional trustee.

ERISA specifically mandates certain actions (“Fiduciary Duties”) which require that an ESOP’s fiduciaries—which generally include its trustees and the company that sponsors the ESOP— establish and operate ESOPs for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to ESOP participants and beneficiaries. Based in trust law, the Fiduciary Duties—with very limited exceptions—require that the assets of an ESOP never inure to the benefit of any employer, and that an appointed trustee control the assets of an ESOP except to the extent that:

1. The ESOP plan document expressly reserves fiduciary responsibility to an otherwise named entity or individual.

2. The authority to manage, dispose of, or acquire assets is delegated to one or more investment managers. ERISA also specifically prohibits certain actions (“Prohibited Transactions”) by a fiduciary that may involve self-dealing and conflicts of interest. Provisions in ERISA provide that an acquisition or sale of


company stock to an ESOP will not result in a Prohibited Transaction under ERISA only if:


The acquisition or sale is for “adequate consideration.”


No commission is charged on such acquisition or sale.

In the case of closely-held company stock, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) defines “adequate consideration” as the fair market value of the stock, as determined in good faith by the trustee or named fiduciary pursuant to the terms of the ESOP and, in accordance with DOL regulations. These issues of Fiduciary Duties, Prohibited Transactions, and adequate consideration are particularly relevant in connection with the trustee’s appointment, and the trustee’s selection of, and reliance on, professional advisors. Designed to facilitate fairness and reasonability in ESOP administration, Fiduciary Duties also obligate a company’s board of directors to prudently select and monitor the ESOP trustee, and remove the trustee when necessary. Use of independent financial and legal advisors cannot relieve an ESOP fiduciary of its Fiduciary Duties, but independent financial advisors can assist a trustee in exercising them and provide objective evidence of the trustee’s good faith. A corporate transaction involving an ESOP will violate ERISA’s rules regarding Fiduciary Duties and Prohibited Transactions unless it meets certain rigid qualifications for exemption. An ERISA fiduciary that breaches his or her Fiduciary Duties or causes an ESOP to engage in a Prohibited Transaction can be:


Held personally liable for all losses suffered by the plan.


Required to return profits obtained through the improper use of plan assets.


Held liable for other remedial and equitable relief deemed appropriate by a court.

Not surprisingly, like most organizational


changes in the heavily-regulated distilling business, a transaction involving an ESOP generally will also trigger filings with federal and state alcohol regulatory authorities. Federally, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (“TTB”) will view the transfer of stock or membership interests to the ESOP like any other transfer of equity. As such, a transfer of 10 percent or more will trigger change-inownership amendments, while a transfer of a majority of the company’s equity will be treated as a change in control. Given the multiple permits and registrations held by many companies (e.g., basic permit as a distiller, basic permit as an importer, basic permit as a wholesaler, distilled spirits plant registrations), do not assume that a single filing will suffice. Where a change in control occurs, the new controlling owner (here, the ESOP) has 30 days from the close of the transaction to file applications for new distillery basic permits, distilled spirits plant registrations, and any other permits (e.g., an importer’s basic permit) or registrations held by the company. If the ESOP files within that 30day window, the company can continue operating without interruption while the applications are pending. Beware, however, of transactions involving multiple steps or other complexities (e.g., a transfer of all assets to a NewCo simultaneous with the ESOP transaction), as this can affect the need for and timing of required federal submissions. Under the United States’ federal system of government, reinforced in the case of alcohol by Section 2 of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, states can and do impose their own licensing (by whatever name) requirements on distillers. Each one is different, and a distiller contemplating an ESOP should conduct due diligence to understand the impact of the transaction on the state alcohol licenses and other approvals it holds. While each state may take a different approach, most will likely view ESOP transactions in a manner that is similar to the views of TTB. As such, even small transfers to an ESOP will likely trigger some form of notifications

or other filings with the states. And, as with federal law, a change in control may give rise to a more extensive application and approval process.

UNDERSTANDING COMPANY VALUE FROM AN ESOP PERSPECTIVE Critical partners to companies and trustees in any ESOP transactions are lawyers, investment bankers, and financial appraisers familiar with the business of craft distilling, as well as the potential buyer universe and financing alternatives. HAVING AN Having an EXPERIENCED experienced ADVOCATE advocate who can keep the WHO CAN KEEP momentum THE MOMENTUM positive will POSITIVE WILL increase INCREASE AN ESOPan ESOPowned craft OWNED CRAFT d i s t i l l e r y ’s DISTILLERY’S chances of CHANCES OF success. Just like in any merger SUCCESS. or acquisition transaction, an ESOP transaction will require the buyer—here the ESOP trustee—to engage in a due diligence review of the company. Usually focused partially on financial and partially on legal aspects, the objective of due diligence in the context of an ESOP transaction is to get a sense of whether an ESOP is financially reasonable, and whether it is a good fit for a company based on:

1. Corporate

and organizational documents and data.

2. Operational documents and data 3. Employment

and documents and data.


4. Legal and regulatory compliance. In order to evaluate whether both the purchase price component as well as non-financial components of the ESOP


transaction are in the best interest of potential ESOP participants and beneficiaries, the trustee should familiarize itself with the distillery history and its operations. In determining adequate consideration, a trustee may rely on the expert financial due diligence of an independent third-party if the trustee can demonstrate that:


It investigated qualifications.


It provided the expert with complete and accurate information.


It made certain that reliance on the expert’s advice was reasonably justified under the circumstances.



Nevertheless, if the trustee engages a conflicted entity, like the company’s accountant, to perform a valuation appraisal, the appointing fiduciary may be exposed to legal liability. In addition to directing its financial and legal advisors to perform diligence, it behooves a trustee to participate in regular communications with its advisors

to understand the industry context in which the artisan distillery operates, the state of distillery business, company risk factors, and potential areas of future company growth. One of the biggest areas to concentrate on are anti-assignment clauses and change-in-control provisions in craft distillery contracts. Most often found in employment agreements and supplier contracts, these can affect the viability of the ESOP transaction as well as the value of the company.

shareholders, and government regulators the happiest.


Marc E. Sorini is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, based in the Firm’s Washington D.C. office. He leads the Firm’s Alcohol Regulatory & Distribution Group, where he concentrates his practice on regulatory and litigation issues faced by supplier-tier industry members. His practice for craft distillers includes distribution agreements, distribution counseling and litigation, spirits formulation, labeling, promotional compliance, compliance strategy, and federal and state tax and trade practice enforcement defense.

While an ESOP is not for everyone, it is a good fit for the craft distiller that wishes to keep ownership and management at a local level, while gradually sharing the growth and ownership of the distillery operation with its employees over time. A craft distillery that approaches an ESOP transaction with the same diligence and care that goes into producing a quality spirit—the same level of diligence and care necessary for approaching any craft distillery M&A transaction—has the best chance of making employees, selling

Emily Rickard is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, based in the Firm’s Washington D.C. office. She focuses her practice on employee benefits matters generally, but has devoted a substantial portion of her practice to assisting employers in implementing and maintaining ESOPs. She has advised employers in connection with government audits with respect to ESOPs, and also with respect to litigation resulting from regulatory enforcement actions. Prior to joining McDermott Will & Emery, she spent a summer internship with the Plan Benefits Security Division of the Office of the Solicitor at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC.


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NO SCHOOL LIKE THE OLD SCHOOL written and photographed by YARROW introduction by JOHN MCKEE


“Wooden fermenters were too high tech, so he took them out and replaced them with fermenters made of bull hide.” A good friend, not a distiller but certainly an aggregator of amazing people, Yarrow Kraner is the author of this month’s column. Yarrow made a movie for Headframe Spirits, is the founder of HATCH, and is a good friend. He was recently in the highlands of Mexico and couldn’t wait to share what he found with me when he got back. I loved it so much, I thought he should share it with you all. Enjoy. 


THE LEGEND Upon becoming acquainted with tequila and mezcal, I experienced what can only be hailed as a shift in perspective. When a friend of mine with a master’s in science opened my mind to the possibility that agave spirits were not only civilized, but also the responsible choice of distilled spirits, curiosity struck. I started doing research, and the magic unfolded. The art of making agave spirits goes back to the Aztecs. The legend says a bolt of lightning from the heavens tore into the heart of an agave plant, lighting its piña on fire, causing the nectar inside to spill out. The villagers sent for a shaman who, when he arrived, took a sip while the crowd waited in suspense … and finally he said, “Makes me feel wiser.” The natives regarded this as a gift from the gods. Over time, the drink (a fermented agave which they called octli and later pulque), became essential in ceremonies and celebrations, producing a state of euphoria in priests, shaman, warriors and the wise. Agave has been around for more than 20 million years, and WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

cooked agave was food before corn in the Mesoamerican region (11,000 years ago). The Wixáricas (huicholes) were the creators of the distilled pre-Hispanic process about 3,500 years ago. The complex process of making tequila and mezcal begins with an agave grown in soil rich with minerals, with unique volcanic terroir. The maguey (another name for agave) was one of the most sacred and important plants in ancient Mexico, having a privileged place in mythology, religious rituals and the Mesoamerican economy. A little known fact about mezcal is how diverse the category is. There are over 200 documented species of agave, with approximately 35 having been used to create mezcal. Tequila, a $2 billion global business, is just a style of mezcal developed in the state of Jalisco. It is made from a single variety, the blue agave. Mezcal hits every magic word—artisanal, organic, gluten free, vegan. And the best of it often comes from small villages. You have to drive there to get it. It’s made by a family. It automatically became cool when knowing what you eat became cool. It’s a spirit that can hold its own against the finest liquors in the world in terms of complexity and character.



THE PRODUCTION PROCESS Mezcal is typically produced by farmers using a laborious and antiquated method at primitive distilleries known as palenques. It is sold or shared in villages to mark births, funerals, and everything in between. Contrary to popular belief, it does not induce hallucinations. Originally, mezcal was a generic term, like wine, for a spirit produced all over Mexico. Mezcal is made from the cooked heart of certain agave plants. After 8-10 years of growing, and sometimes as long as 40 years depending on the plant, the agave is ready to be harvested and used in the production of Mezcal. The piña is the base or stalk of the plant, fattened by sugars, fueling the development of flowers and seeds so it can reproduce. When the sugars bulk up in the base, the maestros cut the stalk, inhibiting the plant’s ability to produce those flowers and seeds. Then the mezcalero removes the leaves, revealing what looks like a pineapple, and that’s why it’s called a piña. The piñas are then piled into a big pit atop a bed of smoking wood charcoal and hot rocks. The pile is covered with banana leaves or burlap, layered with dirt, then left for several days to cook. After roasting, the soft and sweet piñas are macerated in a circular stone mill where a donkey walks round and round to rotate the huge tahona grinding stone. The extracted juice is naturally fermented in wooden vats and then distilled in wood-fired copper or clay stills. There are dozens of variations in methods of production: fermentation in wooden vats or cow hides; crushing of the cooked agave by hand; a varying number of distillation runs; different yeasts, and so on. The entire process often takes place outdoors and without electricity. It’s a true labor of love.


There are three key factors that differentiate mezcal from tequila:

1. Tequila and mezcal are produced in different states of Mexico (with some overlap).

2. Tequila can only be made, by law, with one variety of agave: the Blue Agave. Mezcal can be made with upwards of 30 varieties of agave, though most are made with the “Espadin.” 3. The production process for mezcal is different from tequila, which leads to a distinctly different flavor profile for mezcal. With tequila, the piñas are cooked in large industrial ovens, known as autoclaves, which are large stainless steel industrial pressure cookers. The results are wildly variable and have all the nuances of a single malt scotch, with which fine mezcals are often compared. Neighboring towns might produce mezcal in the same manner from the same agave types, but with vastly different results, even from batch to batch. Regulations allow the proof to fall between 72 and 110—but hard-liners hold that anything lower than 90 isn’t “real” mezcal. Oaxaca generates 94 percent of the total production of mezcal, and the industry supports 26,000 families, according to the Regulatory Council of Mezcal Quality (COMERCAM). Currently, mezcal is mainly exported to the United States, Canada, Germany, Chile, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Japan, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, thanks to more than 800 small artisan mezcal producers seeking to take their product overseas. The different mezcal tastes, smells, textures and colors depend on the variety of maguey, where it was grown, the distillation technique and the container in which it was allowed to stand. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

THE CEREMONY Both men and women drink mezcal in ceremonies and social activities. Mezcal is used to bless the planting of crops, new arrivals in the family, the opening of a community house and even a new life in the great beyond, where a few drops are sprinkled on the grave to send the soul gently on its way. It is an essential companion for community work projects, on patron saints’ days, in baptisms, weddings, funerals, and when falling in or out of love. People drink it to find courage or to swallow betrayal. They toast to good health and have a sip when they’re feeling sick. Mezcal is drunk in sorrow and in joy, and in poverty and in wealth. The development of mezcal is an art. Originally the creation of this mystical drink had ceremonial and spiritual purposes, but to the purists, the tradition is what matters most.

THE ARTISANS Amando Álvarez is a 26-year-old maestro in Santa Maria Ixcatlán — a hard-to-reach community in the mountains of Ixcatlan, Oaxaca. It takes four hours of carefully traversing winding switchbacks to reach the top of a mountain approximately 9,500 feet high, where an archaic open air palenque awaits. Amando was given control of the family palenque when he turned 24. He lives with his extended family, including his father and grandfather, themselves both maestros who now work for him. His first objective was the removal of open-air wooden barrels which

the family had been using as fermenters in their palenque. They were too modern for Amando’s tastes. He insisted that they be replaced with fermenters made from the hides of bulls, like those used by his great-great-grandfather. Nothing modern. No plastic. Everything now is about maintaining the integrity of how his ancestors fermented and distilled mezcal from a very rare agave that only grows at this high altitude. What would normally be coiled copper distillation equipment is a continuous flow system that takes water directly out of the spring, through several hollowed bamboo shoots, through each pot, and out the other side. It’s a 24/7 operation, and since the fires are fueled by wood, it needs constant supervision. He often needs to change out the pots at 3 or 4 in the morning. Amando’s spirits are in high demand, and his juice is now behind the mezcal owned by the former governor and current president of the Foundation for Biosphere Reserve: Reserva Del Chegalo. If we often think of distilleries as cathedrals of stainless steel and copper, with their distillers as the bishops of the trade, then we should think of Amando’s distillery as the frontier mission, and Amando as the committed Jesuit ensuring the tradition of the craft is not lost. Another variation of this story comes from Don Filipe’s palenque. Don Filipe’s agave farm and palenque in Miahuatlan has been in the family for five generations, and Don Filipe is the maestro. His son, Ageo, is the first in his family who will have the opportunity to stay, learn and become a maestro himself, largely because of the



recent boom in mezcal. This farm is the origin of the juice used for Buen Viaje, which means “Good Trip.” The intention of Buen Viaje is to preserve the integrity of ​​the process — made by hand with natural ingredients that take between 7 to 35 years to cultivate, wrapped in a culture more than 3,500 years in the making. The export quantity of mezcal to the United States is reaching newfound heights, having tripled in a decade to approximately 160 million liters in 2016. The founders of Buen Viaje Mezcal, Martin López and Eugenio Maillefert, have invested in Don Filipe and his palenque to help him bring his craft to the world. López and Maillefert are champions of maintaining Don Felipe’s craftsmanship. The production is time consuming, limited, and contained in a beautiful black bottle that represents the traditional handicraft of Oaxacan black mud coupled with decoration of the wixárika art. “We want to bring the gift of mezcal to other countries, allowing itself to be positioned in a category of the best distillates in the world,” says López. “There is no distillate so pure and complex that it has to age both raw material and mother earth.” The effort to preserve the tradition is being rewarded. A Spanish critic that specializes in mezcal said that Buen Viaje Mezcal is the best mezcal of Mexico, and the President of Mexico chose the special edition of Buen Viaje as a Presidential Gift. The story of agave spirits is rich with history, people, geography, terroir, sacrifice and tradition — and it weaves an incredibly


beautiful story. The more I learn, the more I want to tell this story, and expose it to the world. I am now halfway through producing a documentary on the magic and majesty of agave spirits, and the stories that I’ve encountered are already rich enough to fill my soul with a hundred years of gratitude. Mezcal is an artform; a cultural artifact that is like an endangered species in need of protecting. The process in its ancient form may die out if not nurtured and protected. When you sip your mezcal, remember, roll the first small sip on your tongue, just to coat the surface, and enjoy the air rushing across with a slight burn. Marvel at how your taste buds awaken. Then with the second, the complexity shifts, and unveils even more complex flavor profiles. And with the third sip, with a transformation the mezcal becomes sweet. Appreciate the culmination of 3500 years and pure magic as it dances across your palate.

Yarrow Kraner is Creative Alchemist, story-teller, Founder of HATCH. Visit www.hatchexperience.org for more information. Special thank you to Lou Bank who introduced me to many wonderful people & stories in Oaxaca.  John McKee, along with his wife Courtney, are the owners of Headframe Spirits in Butte, MT. For more info, email john@headframespirits.com.



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This book was inspired by the recent popularity of rum among the cocktail circles, and by the advent of so many new rum distilleries in North America. Rum is now being made in micro-distilleries all over the United States, including a return to the original epicenter of rum distilling, Newport, Rhode Island. At the time of the American Revolution, there were about 30 rum distilleries in Rhode Island, 22 of which were in Newport alone, and the rum produced there was revered by some as the best in the world. The last Rhode Island rum distillery of that era closed in the 1840s. But, now they are coming back and not only in Rhode Island, but in all of New England, and across the United States and Canada.

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Creating a narrative that engages your consumer and embraces their lifestyle will build brand loyalty and bolster your bottom line.


he power of storytelling in consumer engagement is undeniable, but often deciding how to develop your spirits brand’s story presents a more difficult challenge. In the following article I’ve outlined some keys to developing killer stories that will appeal to your consumer, grab their attention, and engage their imagination. The goal of telling effective stories about your brand should always be to lead your consumer from initial awareness to trial, and ultimately to brand advocacy.


1 .DEVELOP YOUR BRAND’S ESSENCE. Create a succinct one or two sentence encapsulation of the most important guiding principle or attribute of your brand, then build your story from there. Concentrate on what sets your brand apart. Are you a small-batch, handcrafted producer? A more established producer with years of experience and credibility? WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  





Your story must be truthful. A phony or contrived story will be quickly discovered. Today consumers have unparalleled access to information via the internet, social media and apps which provide endless sources for fact checking.

Your story should not be a thesis on your locale, or overlycomplex distilling nuances. Instead, choose the elements of your brand that are simple, differentiated from your competition, engaging, and most of all compelling for your target consumer, their beliefs and how they live their lives.

4 .RELATE YOUR BRAND TO YOUR CONSUMER’S LIFESTYLE. Do your homework — understand how your consumer thinks, their passions, cultural beliefs, why they choose the spirits they buy, where and how they consume them, and then provide them with a story that will resonate strongly with these considerations.


WHY STORYTELLING SELLS STORYTELLING BUILDS RAPPORT AND TRUST WITH YOUR. CONSUMER. Great stories play on emotions and create an emotional connection between your brand and consumers. Your messaging and packaging should exude your story and “speak” to your consumer on the shelf, giving them a reason to choose your brand over another.

STORYTELLING GIVES YOUR BRAND STICKING.POWER. A good story is memorable, where simply raw information could easily be forgotten or confused with competitors. Your story allows you to share why you are different.

STORYTELLING ALLOWS YOUR CONSUMER TO.“SELL” YOUR. BRAND TO OTHERS. A great brand story will provide consumers with all they need to promote your brand to others, aka free advertising. Your story gives your consumer something to relate to and more importantly to share with others as they enjoy your brand at home or at a bar with friends. A great story should be easy to understand and compelling enough to pass along.

CLEAR, SIMPLE AND AUTHENTIC Every touch point your consumer has with your brand is a chance to reinforce your story. Carry your brand story throughout all your communications and wear it like a badge of courage: clear, simple and authentic. A great story will reinforce your consumer’s beliefs, relate to their interests and reward their aspirations in order to create an emotional and cognitive connection taking them from awareness to trial to advocacy.

David Schuemann is the owner and creative director of CF Napa Brand Design. For more information, visit www.cfnapa.com or call (707) 265-1891.

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hen we were last together in the Winter 2016 issue of Artisan Spirit Magazine I warned you that I was going to provide further enlightenment on the details of sprinkler systems, and as promised here we are again. Every distiller wants to know more about making their distillery a safe place so let’s keep going down the path towards sprinkler system wisdom. You will recall from my past writings that while there are several different types of sprinkler systems, only a system that is designed and installed according to the requirements of NFPA 13 will be correct for your distillery. NFPA 13 is the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard for the Installation of Automatic Sprinkler Systems. This can be an intimidating document, but like all codes and standards, when in the hands of the knowing it can help to protect lives and property and it’s not overly mysterious. After setting up your reliable and sufficient water supply we must have a way to distribute water inside your distillery and 13 offers several approved piping materials that help us do that. These materials range from ones that have been used for centuries — steel and copper — to the latest thermoplastic nonmetallic materials. The different materials each have benefits and drawbacks so careful consideration should be applied and a conversation


should take place between you, the system designer and your sprinkler installer. Also, keep in mind an entire sprinkler system is not limited to only one type of pipe material, so your sprinkler designer may choose a more cost effective and resilient material where the piping is exposed in the storage area, but your interior designer may choose a material that is bright and shiny (and expensive!) where it’s going to be ogled by customers sipping samples and plunking down their hard-earned cash in the tasting room. The first piping material option is usually plain old black steel. This is the stuff used to make pipe clamps in your workshop or for compressed air piping at the local gas station, but because it’s for your sprinkler system this pipe needs to be special. Sprinkler system piping is required to meet specific ASTM standards, but as with most things in life even the quality of your sprinkler pipe can vary, and the wizard-like folks in the laboratories of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) make sure any variations will not be detrimental to the performance of your sprinkler system. How important are these ASTM requirements, those weird

sometimes cryptic markings on the pipe? They’re so important that most regulatory agencies require and look for those markings to make sure your pipe is correct, and if the pipe is not appropriately marked some of these inspector types will make your installer either have individual pieces of pipe tested and certified, or worse, removed and replaced with pipe that have the appropriate markings. Make sure this is addressed early, as either “test and certify” or “remove and replace” is going to make your project take several steps backwards, something that’s bad yet completely preventable, almost like they taught you in sex ed. In addition to using the appropriately approved steel pipe your designers are going to usually opt for one of two joining methods. What’s a joining method? It’s how the pipe joins together … no trade mystery here. The first method is one that’s been around for centuries and everyone has seen it: the old threaded fitting. In your sprinkler system generally only the smaller pipe sizes use the time-tested threaded method. Does this method work? Darn right it does and



attractive brass or black sprinkler heads, comparison to steel. Comparatively, under it has proven its worth for centuries in the sale price of your hooch will need to the same pressure more water can flow every type of piping imaginable, but it is increase threefold. Customers will bring through the same size CPVC pipe. CPVC labor intensive and I dare you to remove a their friends just to look at the sprinkler is lightweight, easily worked and internally section of threaded pipe from the middle system. Of course before the copper can slippery ... all good characteristics for of a pipe run. First you’ll stare, then you’ll be cut, hung and polished there are those sprinkler piping. To understand what CPVC curse, then you’ll reach for the destructive damn rules. Copper tube comes in an array might look like, think about the (usually equipment as you will have correctly of different material thicknesses but only white) PVC drainage piping in your home. concluded it can’t be done without cutting three, identified as Type K, Type L and A peek beneath your kitchen sink will give something. Whenever possible, keep Type M (from thick to thin) are approved you a good visual comparison. CPVC is the threaded pipe runs at the end of the to be used in fire sprinkler systems. Copper similar, but almost always comes sprinkler system branch lines where they has wonderful hydraulic properties, where in that same attractive can be taken apart without the like CPVC friction loss is significantly less International orange use of destructive tools than steel pipe and therefore pipe sizes when necessary. can be smaller. And what joining methods The second can be used for your aesthetically pleasing joining method is sprinkler system? There are lots to choose more industrial from. There’s the standby method everyone and cool knows and that’s to “sweat” or braze the sounding: roll joints, which essentially melts lead (or a and groove, and similar material) and “glues” the pipe into no, this is not the fittings. The problem with sweating color! the roll and groove ROLL AND GROOVE METHOD is that it isn’t always beautiful and can With all the from Woodstock, not COURTESY VICTAULIC only be used in wet sprinkler systems good things even close. This one and in light hazard occupancies. It’s not about CPVC cuts a small groove going to work for a dry sprinkler system having been mentioned, be careful when around the pipe, near the end, into which above the still. Then there’s a much considering its use. First, the CPVC piping goes a water- and air-tight gasket which more recent joining technology which is of choice has to be specifically ASTM is held in place by a bolted clamp that our favorite, a mechanically compressed approved to be used in fire sprinkler piping, encircles the pipe. Does it work? Yup, roll copper fitting formed around an approved then special consideration has to be given and groove works really well and has been gasket. When this system is done well it to temperature and exposure conditions used in every industry imaginable that uses makes your polished pipes appear to have as the upper service temperature of this pipe. The benefit is when you have to take been seamlessly fused together, and when material is around 150° F, and in many a section of sprinkler system apart, and this combined with thoughtful bending of the cases the material is not listed to be left is going to happen during your ownership of copper tubing, a great installer can add a exposed, and if left exposed, many brands a sprinkler system, roll and groove comes level of visual wonder to a safety necessity. cannot be painted … you’ll have to enjoy apart wonderfully with no destruction and Here are a few other considerations when International orange. While this is a good minimal effort, whereas the old threaded choosing piping materials. For starters, material to install within the gypsum-boardpipe methods are not so friendly. Roll and know your water and think about the future finished ceiling of your office, it’s probably groove, however, is usually only seen on of your system. CPVC, for example, is not not the piping material to use over the still. larger pipe sizes, usually pipes that are 1 affected by many “aggressive” waters that The third material option that we see, ¼ inch and larger, and the fittings seem to can eat holes in steel or copper. However, and this is for the wealthier “price is not only come in a lovely International orange CPVC pipe installed downstream in a an object” clients, is copper. Exposed color. This is likely not an issue over the sprinkler system that contains threaded copper sprinkler piping, all loading dock, but it’s probably not the décor steel fittings can bright and shiny above the you wanted above retail. The good news is tasting room, will nicely steel pipe and fittings can be painted! compliment your pot The second piping material option, and still on the other side one that we don’t see used frequently in of that very expensive commercial fire protection, is thermoplastic, window. When usually chlorinated polyvinyl chloride attractively installed (CPVC). This material is lightweight, easy to COPPER PRESS with copper fittings, work with and very efficient in that there’s TYPE FITTING BERGERON TECHNICAL PHOTO copper supports and a lot less friction inside a CPVC pipe in



in my earlier writings, the water droplets red component in the be in trouble as some lubricants used are converted to steam, and that warm and middle is a liquidduring the steel pipe threading wet mist is what then quickly extinguishes filled glass vial, process have been found to a fire. Now, knowing how they work, let’s and because the deteriorate CPVC. Copper look at other sprinkler head options. glass vial is red is beautiful, but it too can The first option is what we call the head we know this internally deteriorate and “orientation,” which in simple terms means is a standard develop pinholes over the position of the sprinkler head’s deflector temperature time. Also, talk with your in relationship to the sprinkler pipe and sprinkler installer and ask about the ceilings beneath which the system is which will MIC. Microbiologically installed. Generally, there are three sprinkler begin water Influenced Corrosion (MIC) head configurations, and while some discharge occurs more frequently in systems may have only one type, others around 155°. some regions than others may have all three. Dry sprinkler systems We all know what and it’s not good. No matter (remember those?) usually use upright happens to a how potable the water sprinkler heads which means the head looks liquid when it’s supply, there’s often a MIC IN A SPRINKLER PIPE like, and is installed similar to, the one heated, right? multitude of bacteria BERGERON TECHNICAL PHOTO shown and described above. Uprights are It expands, just present inside your installed like in your still, and in the case sprinkler system and if you don’t believe upright of this sprinkler head, when the me just stand by and watch the flow of PENDENT SPRINKLER COURTESY RELIABLE AUTOMATIC atop the red liquid in the vial expands “water” the next time a sprinkler system is SPRINKLER sprinkler the internal pressure from the being tested! Never again will you question pipe. expanding liquid shatters the when I say that sprinkler water can be a If your sprinkler vial. At the base of the vial there’s a small little nasty. The combination of these pesky system is a wet plug, copper in this case but sometimes bacteria, along with oxygen that’s entrapped system, the rubber, which is the only thing that in your sprinkler system, create a wonderful upright head prevents the water from flowing. When environment where the bacteria develop could be used, the vial explodes the plug is pushed out “teeth,” chewing little tiny pinholes in but it’s more and then the water flow begins! When sprinkler piping. Talk with your installer likely your water first discharges from an upright about water testing, water treatment and system will head it discharges violently straight replacing any air in the sprinkler system have pendent up, quickly hitting the underside with nitrogen, and do all of this very early or sidewall of the little umbrella-shaped thing in the process. Anything that can be done heads. The called the “deflector.” The pressurized to keep MIC at bay will save your hardpendent water spray hitting the underside of the earned money and allow you to invest in head is deflector does two things: First, new equipment and technologies … things mounted the water spray that can make you money! on the direction is We’ve learned a lot about underside reversed or the piping material so of the “deflected” your sprinkler system pipe, looking downward to can properly move water similar to the where the fire is to the different areas of upright style with the difference in the two happening. Then, your distillery, but how does being the deflector. Being mounted with the little teeth-like the water get from the pipe the discharge already pointing downward, a edges of the deflector to the fire? Simple, it leaves pendent head does not have to redirect the spread the water into a through the mysterious sprinkler water discharge, it only has to shape the lovely umbrella-shaped heads, and here too you have umbrella spray pattern. Look closely at the waterfall of water an array of options. But before two different heads and you’ll notice the droplets. As you learned we talk about those options, let’s deflector on the pendent head has quickly revisit how a sprinkler the same little teeth-like shape but head works. The sprinkler head UPRIGHT SPRINKLER the deflector is flat. pictured is a standard temperature, COURTESY RELIABLE AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER The last type of sprinkler head upright sprinkler head. The little WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  


that you may see on your system is called a sidewall head, and lo and behold its name tells you a lot about it. It goes high up on a sidewall, just a few inches below the ceiling. Sidewall heads are often used in finished spaces where the piping is concealed within the wall. Like the pendent and upright heads, there’s the deflector plate and the little shaping teeth, but in the case of a sidewall head the flow pattern is fan-shaped, projecting the fan of water horizontally across the room. Sidewall heads present advantages of not having to have sprinkler heads or piping in the middle of the ceiling, and if provided adequate pressure they can spray outward


a long distance protecting large areas with a single head. Finally, let’s cover sprinkler head finishes, the color of those little life and property

authority types are going to make you remove and replace every single one that you’ve tediously painted. If you must have rose red sprinkler heads, ask your sprinkler designer if they can have some painted at the factory to accomplish your décor. Where to from here? We never did get to those fire SIDEWALL SPRINKLER pumps, and we haven’t COURTESY VIKING CORPORATION talked about alarm systems or chillers. Let’s see where saving wonders! the next few months take us in the wild The sprinkler heads world of fermentation and distilling! Be that you’ll see most well and distill safely! often are unfinished brass, these having been installed for over a century. The Shawn Bergeron is an NFPA and ICC next most common will be factory-painted, certified fire protection specialist and building official with Bergeron Technical Services in usually white but on rare occasions black. North Conway, New Hampshire. For more Note the factory-painted sprinkler heads information or assistance call (603) 356-0022 have to be painted at the factory in order or visit www.bergerontechnical.com. They will to maintain their UL, FM or other listing. be happy to help you with your distillery no If you choose to paint them rose red matter how near or far. after installation, rest assured one of the





oby Beall and his wife were living in Arizona, surrounded by quality Mexican-made agave spirits like tequila and mezcal, when they started planning their Plainfield, Illinois rum distillery. “You go in any bar out there and you have at least 40 if not 150 tequilas to choose from,” says Beall, an airplane pilot who named Tailwinds Distilling Company after his first profession. “At the same time I was flying with some guys from Mexico who were introducing me to some of the barrel-aged tequilas,” and he quickly became fascinated

with the category. Beall grew to love agave spirits so much that he worked them into his distillery business plan. Now their silver agave spirit is their secondbest-selling product, and their top tasting room cocktail is the old fashioned they make with their rested agave spirit. Tailwinds isn’t the only distillery making agave spirits in the U.S., but they are part of a relatively small group. U.S.-made agave spirits don’t necessarily appear primed for an explosion of interest from U.S. distillers or consumers, possibly due to the plethora of

quality tequilas and mezcals already on the market. The imported agave category is growing, and the Distilled Spirits Council reported that U.S. tequila sales grew 106 percent between 2002 and 2015. If anything, the U.S. market may be more ready to accept bacanora, sotol, racilla, and other imported agave spirits. Given that there are hundreds of agave varieties distillers might work with, a wide range of methods which can be used, and rich cultural histories driving the production techniques, imported agave

spirits are a deep category consumers would probably love to dive into. Even so, if U.S. distillers are allowed to experiment with spirits they’ve never made before they are going to do it. And while some naysayers believe there’s no reason for U.S. producers to make agave spirits, Beall and other distillers, like Sean Venus of Venus Spirits in Santa Cruz, California, disagree. Venus says that when people ask him why he’s making an agave spirit, he cites the success of Taiwanese whisky distilleries: “When those first



started up, people looked at them asking why they would try to emulate Scotch-style whisky, and some of those whiskies now are some of the best in the world.”

FINDING, AND WORKING WITH, AGAVE Painting with a broad brush, in Mexico whole agave plant hearts, or piñas, are heated and juiced, and the resulting juice is fermented and distilled. But for U.S. distillers, importing and working with heavy piñas is nearly, if not completely, impossible. Several different agave species grow native in parts of the U.S., but it is very rarely cultivated stateside, and most distillers seem to feel a domestic supply of agave is a ways off. That’s why many distillers, Beall and Venus included, import agave “nectar,” a syrup made from the cooked juice from the crushed piñas. Beall and Venus both use Mexican-grown-andproduced blue agave nectar, and both have been able to secure dependable supplies. The biggest sourcing challenge for Beall, who buys it directly from a family in Mexico, is waiting for it to clear customs. But while working with straight nectar may seem simple, it’s not. “The agave is quite difficult to ferment, and I think a lot of people have tried to dabble in it and had some problems with the actual agave and then


just gave up on it,” explains Venus, whose first fermentations took a full month. “We were about to throw in the towel and we figured it out and pushed forward.” Beall had to adjust his fermentation tactics, as well, and Tailwinds’ fermentation takes about two weeks now. Influenced by his rum-making experience, he uses a Carribean yeast strain, and ends up with about 7.5 percent ABV after fermentation. “As far as a product to work with for fermentation and distillation it can be quite a bit tricky,” explains Beall. “We’ve had questions from a lot of distillers calling and trying to figure out how we get it to ferment.” Andrew Causey of BSG Distilling says agave is challenging to ferment for several reasons, one of which is the presence of an aldehyde called furfural. Furfural “tends to inhibit

AGAVE IS CHALLENGING TO FERMENT FOR SEVERAL REASONS, ONE OF WHICH IS THE PRESENCE OF AN ALDEHYDE CALLED FURFURAL. initial fermentation, and it’s toxic to the reproduction of the yeast,” tells Causey. If distillers understand how furfural works, however, Causey says one solution is actually fairly simple: pitch more yeast. Furfural is “an


VENUS SPIRITS expendable resource, so if you pitch more yeast it uses up the toxic effect of the furfural.” Causey says agave nectar furfural should be below 40 parts per million, and distillers should be able to tell this by obtaining a good specification sheet from their agave supplier. Besides compensating for furfural, Causey says that distillers should also supplement the agave nectar with adequate nitrogen and other micronutrients. Agave nectar is typically low in nitrogen and nutrients yeast needs to thrive. “What tends to happen is they (the yeast) go into the anaerobic phase where they create the alcohol, and they tend to be weak, and the alcohol affects the enzymatic activities of the yeast in a more pronounced manner, and that’s why you get stalled fermentations,” he says. After fermentation, Tailwinds uses a hybrid pot-column still to distill their agave spirits one time, and Venus Spirits distills theirs twice in an alembic still. Venus says he takes wider hearts cuts than he does with whiskey in order to retain more flavors, and after blending he says the distillate reminds him of brandy.



SELLING AGAVE SPIRITS TTB classifies U.S.-made agave spirits as “Distilled Spirits Specialty,” and that presents some challenges. “You can’t put an age statement on a distilled specialty spirit,” explains Beall. “That’s why our aged agave is actually just referred to as rested.” Further, since tequila and mezcal are protected, originspecific names, U.S. distillers cannot label them as such. Playing off of that labelling restriction, Venus named his agave line “El Ladrón,” which translates from Spanish as “The Thief.” Venus offers three different agave spirits: blanco, a clear spirit rested in stainless steel; reposado, which is aged twoto-four months in barrels that

held Venus’s whiskey; and añejo, which is aged in new American oak for a year. He says that California tasting laws allow him to sample the spirits side-by-side at the tasting room, and customers love exploring the different versions. “They all three have different characters, not just by a matter of time, but a matter of approach, and it gets appreciated in our tasting room,” says Venus. Both Beall and Venus love to present their agave spirits neat,


but they say that cocktails are also an effective way to familiarize their customers with what the spirits are and how they can be used. “It’s quite sweet and smooth, so we find people really like it in classic cocktails, so they’ll do variations on manhattans and negronis,” tells Venus. “When we make cocktails, we tend to go on the more savory side, the more smoky side, and less towards the direction of a traditional margarita.” In addition to selling cocktails in the tasting room, Beall says some of his best agave sales have come through working with on-premise accounts to educate bartenders and work his products into cocktail lists. He also sees those on-premise sales spark curiosity that drives off-premise sales when customers seek out his bottles

at liquor stores. Promoting U.S.-made agave spirits, “takes a lot more work because you’re not just fitting into a broad category, you know, which is both a blessing and a curse,” says Beall. “If you can play on that and do it well you can have good success with it.” Unlike whiskey, which U.S. distillers generally understand and feel comfortable making and marketing, agave spirits are new territory. Venus says that sometimes he feels like he’s on an island, and he’d like to see more U.S. distillers help grow the category. That said, all three of his agave spirits are selling well, and Beall can’t keep up with demand at Tailwinds. “It’s very rare now to have these produced in America,” Beall says. “You’ve got a lot of room to work.”

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he word molasses is a modification of the Portuguese melaço, from Late Latin mellaceum, meaning grape juice, from Latin mell-, mel, meaning honey. In Latin, mel means “honey” and fluere means “to flow.” Those two linguistic components flow smoothly together in mellifluus (from Late Latin) and mellyfluous (from Middle English), the ancestors of mellifluous. The adjective these days typically applies to sound, as it has for centuries. In 1671, for example, John Milton wrote in “Paradise Regained” of the “Wisest of men; from whose mouth issu’d forth Mellifluous streams.” But mellifluous can also be used for flavor, as when wine critic Eric Asimov used it to describe pinot grigio in the book “Wine With Food”: “Most pinot grigios give many


people exactly what they want: a mellifluous, easy-to-pronounce wine that can be ordered without fear of embarrassment and that is at the least cold, refreshing, and for the most part cheap.” Much of today’s literature refers to molasses as a “waste product” or a by-product of the processing of sugar. This unfortunate inaccuracy, which is eagerly perpetuated by many journalists and bloggers, most of whom have never visited a sugar cane milling facility, suggests that rum is a distillate obtained from waste, something that gravely affects the image of the rum category as a whole. We will return to this topic later, but for now let’s explore the process via which we obtain molasses in the first place. By today’s industry lingo, molasses may refer to any of the WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

Much of today’s literature refers to molasses as a “waste product” or a by-product of the processing of sugar. This is an unfortunate inaccuracy. honey-like liquids (consistency and flavor-wise) obtained after the sugarcane stalks are received at the mill, their juice is extracted and some of the water contained in that juice is removed. An average freshly-cut cane stalk weighs about 3 pounds (1.4 Kg) and is roughly 85 percent liquid. This means that there are about 2.6 pounds (1.2 Kg) of juice in the stalk and roughly 10 percent of that juice could be sugar, meaning that the average cane stalk has 0.3 pounds (0.14 Kg) of sugar. Using this low brix juice as-is for fermentation means that the resulting fermented wash will have a low ABV and that the distiller will need to spend a lot of time and energy bringing all that liquid to distillation temperature, only to produce a small volume of alcohol at the end. Consequently, each bottle of this alcohol will cost more to produce than bottles produced from a starting liquid with a higher brix or sugar percentage. So what is the efficiency-minded distiller to do? The answer is to use a more concentrated sugar solution — something with less water. Sugar mills are, not surprisingly, in the business of producing sugar crystals. This is easily achieved by evaporating excess water from the fresh juice until the solution becomes saturated and crystallization occurs. If we were to retrieve a sample of the cane juice right before crystallization, we would have what some in the industry refer to as “Virgin Honey” or “High Test (HT) Molasses.” This raw material has many advantages:

„„ High brix level (50 percent sugar or more by weight), meaning that transportation costs, when amortized across the volume of rum produced, are much lower.

„„ Low Maillard caramelization of sugars, meaning most of the sugar can be directly fermented.

„„ Low ash content, also related to the reduced application of heat during the water evaporation.

„„ Depending on what the distiller does with the spent wash (bio digesters, oxidation ponds, etc.), using HT Molasses may have additional advantages, as well. If the international (commodity) price of sugar is high, however, the sugar mill may be very motivated to not sell HT Molasses, but rather to continue the evaporation process until sugar crystals are harvested. As a result of the additional heat treatment, water loss, caramelization and concentration of residual components, the resulting molasses, called “Grade A,” will have a darker color than the HT Molasses. The process of extracting sugar crystals from “Grade A” molasses can continue, with the resulting molasses having grades ranging from B through D and finally blackstrap, which is the cheapest grade, one often destined to be used as cattle feed. The difference between HT and blackstrap molasses is not just chemical: it is visible and gustatory, as well and, as I mentioned WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

earlier, it has financial implications on the rum production operation. Sugarcane sugar is ready to be fermented immediately as-is, unlike the starches from grains (barley, corn, etc.) or from roots (potatoes) or agave, which have to be hydrolyzed first, either through cooking and/or germination. This is both good and bad: It is good because fermentation can be started immediately, without incurring pretreatment, but it is also bad because contaminants in the environment (air, water, surfaces) or native yeasts can start that fermentation before we are ready to do so. Scientists have isolated more than two dozen strains of naturally-occurring yeasts present in the cane stalks and foliage, including Candida, Endomyces, Pichia, Saccharomyces and Torulopsis. One contaminant that is a common source of headaches for distillers who use molasses is Leuconostoc mesenteroides. L. mesenteroides is a bacteria that specializes in polymerizing fermentable sucrose molecules into un-fermentable dextrose chains. Because the resulting dextrose is not fermentable, it negatively affects the amount of alcohol that can be produced from the molasses. Also, because it is polymerized, meaning that it has longer repeating chains of atoms, fermentation tanks with dextran are more likely to produce more and larger bubbles of CO2, resulting in potential overflowing, compared to identical tanks with dextran-free molasses. What can be done to eliminate a L. mesenteroides infection? Antibiotics have been long employed in ethanol production, penicillin being the most studied and broadly-used. Penicillin G has been favored by many producers and regulatory agencies because it is quickly inactivated by low pH during fermentation and is also destroyed by the heat during distillation, meaning the distillate and spent wash are free from active penicillin. The wide use of this penicillin has, however, resulted in the emergence of new bacteria strains that are resistant. Fortunately, there are alternatives including Virginiamycin and non-antibiotic antimicrobials such as Lactoside which offer promising results. Distillers faced with the challenge of combating L. mesenteroides infections should quantify their losses and, if deemed too costly, seek professional assistance in determining the best approach to reduce or eliminate them. As mentioned earlier, the freshly-pressed cane juice is contaminated by naturally-occurring yeast strains present in the stalks, leaves, water and even on the surfaces of the grinding wheels at the mill. Even if it were to be put immediately into a fermentation tank and a desired yeast added, there would be multiple other yeast already propagated and causing their own fermentations (possibly producing undesirable congeners or pollutants). The process of evaporating the fresh juice, on the other hand, acts as a form of pasteurization, and the resulting HT Molasses not only has the benefit of having a lower volume of water, but also of being more


stable for a longer time. But even heat-processed molasses is subject to infections, which tend to settle on the surface of the liquids (osmotic pressure is too high for them to thrive within the molasses). Molasses stored for longer times is more likely to have surface contaminants, and the contamination only gets worse once water is added to prepare the wash, since water reduces the osmotic pressure to a point where the bacteria can begin rapid reproduction. Inoculation (heat pasteurization is the easiest approach for craft distillers) is then necessary to stop further formation of dextran, but then enzymes such as alpha amylase must be incorporated to break down the dextran into once-again fermentable sugars. Preparing the wash is easy enough if we know the starting brix of the molasses and target brix we want for the wash. As a rule of thumb, the brix for the wash should be at 25 or below, otherwise the osmotic pressure will prevent the yeast from surviving and thriving. But quantifying how much water to use is a bit tricky at first. For example, if we wanted to dilute 1 gallon of 50 brix molasses by adding water, and the target brix is 25, the initial thought would be to add 1 gallon of water to the molasses, but this would be wrong: Brix is a measure of solids in a liquid, thus we would have to weigh the gallon of 50 brix molasses and then add exactly that much weight of water to it (which would be more than a gallon). Fermenting the molasses wash is a topic for a different article, so for now let’s jump to the end of the fermentation. How do we know fermentation has completed and, more importantly, do we have


dextran or other un-fermentable sugars leftover? Large companies or those with access to specialized labs can simply run a sample of the wash through a HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) and determine final sugars fairly quickly. Craft distillers rarely have this luxury, but they do have a quick and straightforward way to test the wash: Taste it! If CO2 release has finished and there are no visual signs of fermentation activity, before transferring the wash to the still I always take a small sample and drink it. The smell should be sweet, like the molasses we started with, but the flavor must be sour and acidic, nothing sweet in it. If there is real sweetness in the taste, then either the yeast was killed prior to finishing the fermentation of all the sugars, or the remaining sugars are nonfermentable. Hopefully by now you will have a larger degree of appreciation for molasses, from High Test to the lowest grade available. Understanding its high sugar content and pasteurization explain why molasses is a preferred material for rum producers, versus fresh cane juice that can only be obtained during the harvest and which requires more energy to ferment and distill. So, is molasses really a by-product of the sugar industry? The answer: absolutely not!

Luis Ayala is an international rum consultant and broker of specialty aged rums. He is founder of The Rum University, Rum Central and Got Rum? magazine. Visit www.gotrum.com or email luis@gotrum.com for more information.



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ounded in 2003, Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery is Western Canada’s oldest craft distillery, and they have helped put British Columbia-made spirits on the world map. With numerous international awards, well-received products, and a list of “BC firsts” to their name, they’ve had to expand twice to keep up with demand. Okanagan Spirits started in a 4,000-square-foot industrial space in Vernon, BC, but they needed to grow, so in 2011 they opened a second location down the road in Kelowna. A picturesque tourism destination, Kelowna offered the Okanagan Spirits crew the chance to reach more foot traffic to try to boost sales. The plan worked so well that they had to expand again, and they recently finished construction on a new 17,000-squarefoot distillery in Vernon. “That one’s definitely Western Canada’s biggest craft distillery,” tells CEO Tyler Dyck, who says they now have a 50-plate column vodka still and two whisky stills there. “It allows us to get production up which is nice, and it’s necessary.” While they no longer have the original Vernon location, they distill in both the Kelowna and new Vernon distilleries, and Dyck says they make 90 percent of their volume in the new distillery. Both are open for tours, and many people visit the Kelowna location to have a cocktail at their adjoining Barrel Room Patio and Lounge. Dyck is an evangelist for utilizing local ingredients and the stories they provide, and the Okanagan Valley offers him a rich



bounty to work with. They make 31 products using primarily locally-grown fruits, grains, and herbs, and they’ve built strong relationships with farmers and orchardists in the area. Many of their products were grown within a short drive of the distillery, and Okanagan Spirits emphasizes those connections in their production, branding and marketing. “We want the flavor profile to be specific to the region in which we’re making it,” tells Dyck. Behind those products are Dyck, four of his family members, and 19 employees. They spend half their time making 27 different eau de vies, liqueurs, absinthe, gins, vodkas, and other products, and the other half is spent making just four: rye, corn, single malt, and beer-inspired whiskies.



“At least 50 percent of our production moving forward will be whisky,” Dyck says. This year they plan to fill 150-200 full-size barrels, and they hope to increase that in the future. In Canada, whisky must be aged at least three years to be labeled as such, so their early start helped them to reach that milestone ahead of many other Canadian craft distillers. Demand for their whiskies has been insatiable, and Dyck says they have sold out of every whisky release within two weeks. In 2015, they sold 1,800 bottles of rye whisky in 23 minutes, and their 2016 BRBN corn whisky disappeared nearly as fast. Their Laird of Fintry, BC’s first single malt, is only sold through a lottery system, and 9,600 people entered for a chance to buy one of the 1,500 bottles they released last year. The Laird of Fintry is one of Dyck’s favorite projects because it combines many local ingredients and stories. The name came from a Scotsman who used to live across the lake from the Kelowna distillery where he owned an estate called Fintry. His friends called him the Laird (Lord) of Fintry, and he even had a private label Scotch of the same name. Through a partnership with a local historical society, Okanagan Spirits was able to use the original branding from the Laird’s Scotch label on their Laird of Fintry single malt. “Now proceeds from every bottle sale go to help fund the restoration of the Fintry estate,” tells Dyck. “Laird of Fintry whisky kind of brings the Laird back home to the Okanagan.” Furthering the Laird of Fintry’s community ties, a local winery that makes a fortified Marechal Foch wine has Okanagan Spirits distill a portion of their wine, then they add the spirit to the wine and put it into barrels. After 18 months, they bottle their wine and bring the barrels to Okanagan Spirits. “We take that barrel and then do just like you would with an Oloroso sherry-style finish,” says Dyck, telling how they



then fill the barrels with their single malt, “but we get it with an Okanagan-style finish.” Okanagan Spirits works with local farmers to grow rye for their rye whisky and corn for their BRBN bourbon-style corn whisky. In addition to their three staple whiskies — rye, corn, and single malt — they also produce about 10 barrels per year of experimental beer-style whiskies. Their “Final Proof Master Distiller Series Whisky” line includes distilled IPAs, porters, and other beer styles that they make in-house, and they release them seasonally.

ADVICE to OTHER DISTILLERS In addition to his work at Okanagan Spirits, Dyck also serves as president of The Craft Distillers Guild of BC. In that role, he offers a lot of advice to other distillers, and one of the most common things he advises distillers to do is put their own stamp on their spirits. “Try to make something that’s terroir-specific, that speaks to the regionality, or something that’s unique to your region or your story as to why you’re making that product,” tells Dyck. If distillers do that well and their products are well-received, they may run into the same challenge that Okanagan Spirits did: growing to meet demand. Dyck has some advice there, too. Okanagan Spirits built their new distillery for the future, with enough room to continue to grow their production and barrel storage. Their experience has also taught them to choose equipment that can be scaled easily. They bought fermenters and stills with volumes that are easy to double, that way they can use one fermenter for some batches and two fermenters for larger batches. If possible, Dyck says it’s best to plan for this scaling across the board, that way one equipment bottleneck doesn’t slow the whole process down. If he could change one thing, Dyck says he would have put down more whisky. Okanagan Spirits is working hard to make more whisky now, and so are many other Canadian craft distillers. At a private tasting, Dyck and several other distillers got together to share samples of their aging whiskies which had yet to reach the three-year mark. What he smelled and tasted gave him great hope for the future. “They had very different flavor profiles and characteristics, and you could tell that there’s going to be a real difference in the flavor selection for the public moving forward,” Dyck says. “We’ve all seen that in craft brewing with how different everyone’s beers are. I think we’re going to see the same in whisky profiles moving forward.”

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery is located in Vernon and Kelowna, Bristish Columbia, Canada. For more information visit www.okanaganspirits.com or call (888) 292-5270. 68 




The desire to separate mixtures into simpler components has occupied alchemists and chemists alike for millennia. One of the popular methods that developed for achieving separation of liquid and liquid-solid mixtures was the process of distillation. This involves heating a mixture of a certain composition to form vapors, which can then be condensed, cooled and collected. It is dependent on vapor or the residue being enriched in the components of interest. When exactly distillation as a process was developed has proven to be a moot point, but in terms of spirit production, the title of distilled spirits inventor goes to the Arabic scientist Jabir Ibn Hayyan, or Geber for short (721 – c. 815 ACE). Dissemination of his work, though, had to wait until it was translated into Latin at the monastic medical school of Salerno, by Robert of Chester in 1144 and Michael Scot in the late 12th century. Whilst the production of alcoholic spirits was certainly motivated by the requirements of the medical profession, there are references in ninth century Arabic poetry that refer to the consumption of alcohol. The production of distilled spirits is indeed a venerable profession. Today it is not only applied for the production of ethanol — potable or not — but also to a broad range of other industries, such as petrochemicals and perfumery. There are several definitions of distilling. This one, “to purify (a liquid) by vaporizing it, then condensing it by cooling the vapor, and collecting the resulting liquid” seems eminently reasonable, capturing the elements of heating, condensation and cooling. But


what about this alternative: “extract the essence of (something) by heating it with a solvent”? As we will see below, this second definition probably applies to congeners and phenolics. This apparently simple process seems to be more complex than we might expect. Focusing on ethanol-water separations then, why is distillation effective as a separation technique? An often-quoted preference for liquid-liquid separation is that boiling point differences should be at least 55°F. However, it should be pointed out that this is for a single stage distillation: one pot for instance. So with water and ethanol having a boiling point difference of around 40°F, it becomes clear why we have to distill more than once to achieve adequate separation. Indeed, to get almost complete separation, additional plates are required to achieve ethanol concentrations up to 96 percent ABV. And there, at least at atmospheric pressure, is the limit of distilling performance. The azeotrope, or constant boiling mixture, has been attained, as the vapor now being formed has the same composition as the liquid — there is no enrichment of one component over the other. Why is this? Some liquids can be distilled to practically complete separation given enough plates in the still, and are considered to be “ideal” mixtures. The problem is that ethanol and water molecules like to stick to themselves and each other. This phenomenon, known as hydrogen bonding, complicates matters as there is significant energy tied up by these interactions, energy that distillers have to


put in to break these bonds. This interaction between molecules affects many properties of ethanol-water mixtures, not least is the presence of azeotropic mixtures. This occurs around 96 percent ABV or, in chemical engineering parlance, at an ethanol mole fraction of around 0.9. This is important, in that it is impossible to distill ethanol from water to beyond 96 percent ABV, no matter how many plates there are in the still. Whilst this is not an issue for distillers, it does concern biofuel producers as this last 0.1 mole fraction of water needs to be removed before mixing with other fuels such as gasoline. Another feature of mixing ethanol and water is highly relevant to distillers. There is a magic trick that can be performed with ethanol and water. Fill two 500 ml measuring cylinders, one with water, and the other with ethanol. Mix the two in a one liter cylinder. The volume comes out to be less than one liter. Nothing has been lost, but rather the molecules of ethanol and water are more tightly packed than when in their pure state, which is known as volume contraction. Touching the one liter cylinder, you may notice that it is noticeably warmer — the mixing gives off heat. These two features are pitfalls for the novice proofer. If proofing in a tank to a certain volume, volume contraction may result in over-dilution, potentially below the legal percentage ABV. Thermal expansion of the proofed spirit may over-estimate volumes, and local hot-spots may be present which may not be where your temperature probes are! So to avoid the potential hazards of over-dilution, proofing should be done slowly and with care.

There is one last feature of ethanol-water mixtures that should be considered, which is the formation of ethanol clusters. Dilute solutions of ethanol in water (around 17 – 20 percent ABV, or ethanol mole fraction of around 0.1) are true solutions. That means ethanol is intimately and uniformly dispersed within the body of the liquid. However, above this concentration it has been shown that ethanol forms clusters, preferring to associate with itself rather than water. There are sound thermodynamic reasons for this (involving the concept of enthalpy, which we will not go into here), but it is likely that once proofed, a spirit will need time to equilibrate from a cluster perspective, and therefore this can also impede the proofing process. Add in the fact that clusters trap flavor volatiles and interact with oak tannins, and it is sometimes a wonder that we can reliably proof at all! Of course most spirits are not simply ethanol and water, but contain congeners too. Those that do not contain congeners have had them assiduously removed during the production of NGS. A key operation in NGS production is so-called hydro-selective distillation. The process seems perverse initially. Having worked to produce a feedstock of around 95 percent ABV, the first stage of hydro-selective distillation is to add back water, say to around 28 percent ABV. The reason for this is that distillation is strictly concerned with vapor pressure rather than boiling point. A liquid boils when its vapor pressure is the same as the ambient conditions. As a liquid’s temperature rises, so does its vapor pressure. However, the relationship between temperature and vapor



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pressure is dependent on distillation conditions. Compounds that are hydrophobic relative to ethanol and water will generally exhibit lower vapor pressures at higher ethanol concentrations, so they are less readily distilled. Now virtually every compound of note in an NGS feed satisfies this criterion, so to increase the vapor pressure of these “contaminants” water is added to encourage them to distill. The compound that is an exception to this rule is methanol, which is more hydrophilic than ethanol, and so is more easily removed at high ethanol concentrations. Hence the reason why demethylizers are at the end of NGS production, when the alcohol concentrations are at their highest. (Demethylization is possible before hydro-selective distillation, but the presence of congeners complicates the process.) One final thought on hydro-selective distillation: Botanical flavors are almost all hydrophobic, implying that they are recovered better from macerates of low percentage ABV. However, maceration is generally favored by high percentage ABVs, so for gin, absinthe and aquavit productions requiring maceration, aim high for maceration, then dilute significantly to recover the flavors that have been extracted. There is one last point to consider here, and that is the application of partial vacuum to spirit production. As I mentioned above, distillation is dependent on vapor pressure and temperature, and if the pressure is reduced by creating a partial vacuum, then liquids under such circumstances will distill at lower temperatures. This can be helpful, for instance with botanical distillations where the desired flavors are thermally labile and are therefore recovered more fully

under vacuum. However, it is worth noting that application of a partial vacuum to a distilled spirit operation will affect flavor performance. Additionally, the still will need to be sealed in order to maintain a stable partial vacuum, and will need implosion valves. Some or all of the energy saved will be required to apply substantial cooling for the distillate. For instance, at a very modest partial vacuum pressure of 0.1 atmospheres, ethanol boils at around 85°F, implying condensation and capture below freezing point. Interestingly, at around this pressure the ethanol azeotrope disappears, providing potential opportunity for pure ethanol production by distillation alone. As hydrogen bonding controls life processes, from the unzipping of DNA to the availability of water as a solvent rather than a vapor, so it has significant impact on the processes of distillation. Hydrogen bonding alone accounts for phenomena such as volume contraction on mixing, the production of heat during mixing and the presence of an azeotrope. The differences in polarity of ethanol and water can be exploited, for instance, in the removal of congeners and methanol during NGS production and in the production of botanical spirits. Alternatives to distillation, such as membrane separations, are likely to become commercially available sometime in the future. Whether there will ever be technology, though, that can compete with the flexibility of distillation remains to be seen.

Paul Hughes, Ph.D. is assistant professor of food science and technology at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. For more information visit www.oregonstate.edu or call (541) 737-4595.

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www.iscbarrels.com Chad Spalding • 270.699.1557 chad.spalding@independentstavecompany.com






estoring the Old Taylor Distillery in Frankfort, one of Kentucky’s first great distilleries, is no simple task. However, it's one that master distiller Marianne Barnes enthusiastically embraces. A once-bustling, but previously abandoned, destination distillery with sunken gardens,

gazebos, and a castle-like appearance, Barnes and crew are balancing their time between distilling and revitalizing the property which they have renamed Castle & Key Distillery. Opened in 1887 by Colonel E.H. Taylor, Old Taylor Distillery was the first to produce one million cases of straight bourbon, and Taylor himself was influential in the bourbon industry. He played a large role in passing the Bottled in Bond Act in 1897, which helped to curb the adulteration of whiskey in the U.S., and many saw him as a bourbon visionary. Pleased to be building on that legacy — and furthering it in her own way — Barnes brings an impressive array of skills to the table. She’s a chemical engineer, was previously a master taster for BrownForman, and is more than a little handy. In some ways she’s very traditional, in other ways quite innovative, and in that spirit she’s helping to steer Castle & Key into the future. Artisan Spirit Magazine caught up with her to find out what she’s been doing, and where she and the distillery are headed.


ARTISAN SPIRIT MAGAZINE: WHAT’S YOUR POSITION AT CASTLE & KEY, AND WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL? MARIANNE BARNES: I am a partner and the master distiller of Castle & Key. My responsibilities are primarily product and operations focused, but I am also helping my partners Will Arvin and Wes Murry shape the vision of our brand and develop strong marketing. I am most excited about my work in restoring and rehabilitating the castle’s production processes, and using pre-Prohibition produced bourbon to model our new brand after. We are fusing pre- and post-Prohibition distillation techniques to create a complex whiskey that is reminiscent of what distillers used to make. ASM: WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE? MB: My background as a chemical engineer landed me a job in the spirits industry right out of college. Prior to that I worked as a waitress, sales, car mechanics and retail. I think all of the experiences I have had really prepared me well for my responsibilities as master distiller since I’m the face of the brand, the technical mind behind the processes, and the palate that develops our products.

ASM: ARE YOU USING OLD TAYLOR ORIGINAL STILLS AND EQUIPMENT, OR DID YOU HAVE TO BUY NEW? MB: We purchased new Vendome copper stills. The original 72-inch diameter stainless steel column still — which National Distillers installed in the late 1950s — was still in place, however it was just way too much horsepower for us getting started. I have run large stills before, it was really more a matter of the exponential increase in capital investment to get started at that size, as opposed to growing into it. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

ASM: HOW LONG HAS THE RENOVATION PROCESS TAKEN, AND IS IT STILL UNDERWAY? MB: The renovation process is still underway. My partners first purchased the site in April of 2014 and started construction the very next day after closing. We haven’t stopped since then. The distillery is in operation, but there is still so much more in our grand plans for this historic bourbon icon. Opening to the public is our next milestone, and that will happen this year. The site is 113 acres and there are over 20 structures, so it’s a lot like renovating an entire abandoned town!

ASM: WHAT KIND OF SPIRITS ARE YOU MAKING THERE? MB: We are currently producing whiskeys, bourbon and rye. The bourbon is very special, made with Kentuckygrown white corn — just as the original proprietor of our site did before Prohibition — and two yeast strains that are genetically similar to the one he used. Our rye whiskey is made with Kentucky-grown rye, which is very uncommon since there is very little quality rye grown in the state. Soon we will start on our gins and vodka, both made from scratch using our bourbon and rye distillate as the base, and they will be distilled again through our specially-made gin column. It is important to us to honor the legacy of our site and make everything we will sell ourselves.

ASM: ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY EXCITING SPECIAL PROJECTS? MB: The gin is very exciting to me. I didn’t have much experience with this spirit, but learning about the flavors and history have made me fall in love with the whole world of possibilities. We are working closely with our gardener, Jon Carloftis, to identify native Kentucky plants that we can grow on-site to produce a gin that will appeal to a Kentucky native’s palate. We are using the ruin of Warehouse A as a planting bed for 39 herbs and botanicals that we will use to craft our recipes. The inspiration to grow our own ingredients came from the luxury of space and obsession with flavor. We built a quarter-mile botanical trail, and from that decided to plant a working garden (not just a beautiful one) to have total control over the quality of our ingredients.

ASM: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO REVIVE THE OLD TAYLOR DISTILLERY? MB: It feels like a dream, but one that you’ve had before. The spirit of this place is a bourbon distillery, and to have the smells and sounds revived feels very natural, yet surreal. I really feel so fortunate to get to be a part of the team to build this amazing place!

ASM: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE TO THOSE THINKING OF STARTING A DISTILLERY? MB: Start with a passion for learning and quality, and then hire someone that is really good with interpreting state regulations! Making bourbon is a dream, but without proper education on the legality, it could all come crashing down and become much more costly than you might have imagined. I would also recommend thinking through storage and bottling thoroughly. You will want to have a great maturation location and the ability to bottle your product when it comes of age. The industry has been great to us, so I would welcome anyone to it — as they say, a rising tide floats all boats!

Marianne Barnes is a partner and the master distiller of Castle & Key Distillery. Visit www.castleandkey.com or call (859) 873-2481 for more information.

P R O V I D I N G R Y E to the distilling industry for over 50 years.

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creating the



lympia Brewing Company used to be the largest private employer in Tumwater, Washington, but it closed in 2003, leaving behind over 1 million square feet of empty space. The brewery opened in 1896, their slogan was “It’s the water,” and the City of Tumwater, South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), the Port of Olympia, and several other public and private partners still think there’s some magic left in that water. Several years ago, when thinking about how to attract developers to repurpose the old brewery, those partners considered industries that were growing and could use a space like that. It didn’t take long for them to see that beer could once again play a role — as well as cider and spirits — and they are now moving in the direction of creating a “Center of Excellence” for brewing, distilling, and cider-making. “Something that really stood out for us, and it’s still alive in our community today, is brewing,” says Tumwater assistant city administrator and brewery project manager Heidi Behrends Cerniwey. “As we started to look at what was happening in the beer industry, it became very apparent that craft beer was just exploding.


And at the same time, because the rules changed in Washington state for distilling, we saw an emerging craft distilling industry that was starting to grow by leaps and bounds.” In addition to craft brewing and distilling, Cerniwey says cider became a natural addition to the plan. According to data that SPSCC gathered, Washington ranks first for cider-making, second for number of craft breweries, and third for number of craft distilleries in the U.S. When they combined that growing demand for beer, spirits, and cider with the knowledge that most of the ingredients needed to make those products are already grown in-state, they saw a great opportunity to add value to Washington agricultural products and attract beverage businesses to their community. With this promising start, the City, Port, and SPSCC were able to complete a feasibility study thanks to state funding from the Community Economic Revitalization Board. “It helped us get a better look at our opportunity to meet the needs of these emerging industries and to help them grow,” explains Cerniwey. “What we found was there’s a need for education, and that’s where South Puget Sound Community College comes in.” WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

EDUCATING BREWERS, DISTILLERS, AND CIDER MAKERS SPSCC is currently developing curriculum for associate degrees in brewing, distilling, and cider-making, and they will launch all three programs this fall. Classes will be held at the college for now, and they hope to enroll 60 students — 20 in each program — during the first year. Most likely, those students will all be taking the same classes during their first quarter. “There are going to be some core elements that are common to all three disciplines, so things like basic business law,” tells Kelly Green, SPSCC director of public relations and events. “For the first couple of quarters, it’s a lot of classroom instruction, so they’ll primarily be held on our main campus.” While students attend those classes, SPSCC will work with public and private partners to purchase brewing and cider-making equipment in 2017, followed by distilling equipment in 2018. They will also find and develop a lab, hopefully with attached classroom space, so the program can transition into that building in the future. Until then, Green says some of their private partners may host lab classes at their breweries, cideries, or distilleries. “We still don’t know where those labs will happen just yet, it just depends on how some of these partnerships shake out, and who’s able to get funding or actually develop a facility,” explains Green. In addition to several cider and brewing partners, Green says that John Bourdon of Tenino, Washington’s Sandstone Distillery, Jason Parker of Seattle’s Copperworks Distilling Company, and many other


distillers will help develop the curriculum to ensure the program meets the needs of the industry. SPSCC is also hosting five Whiskey Appreciation classes in conjunction with a local group, The Whiskey People. Attendees can choose which classes they attend, and if they attend all five they will receive a certificate.

A LARGE-SCALE, EVOLVING PLAN Those SPSCC programs may migrate to the old Olympia brewery in the future, but right now they are looking at other sites. Still, Cerniwey and Tumwater city administrator John Doan believe SPSCC’s new programs will lead to interest in redeveloping the brewery. “We’ve got industry knocking on the door and businesses lining up to locate here,” tells Cerniwey. “Tumwater will welcome several new craft brewers this year and expects to welcome a handful of


distilleries and cideries to announce their locations in the city soon.” The long-term hope is that through innovative partnerships all of the old brewery can be redeveloped, but it doesn’t have to all be one entity. Possibilities include brewing, cider-making, or distilling incubators, cooperage, barrel storage, canning and bottling facilities, malting facilities, and education centers to help these industries grow. This would also allow students to work on-site with private businesses to learn related skills. Doan says that when it comes to beverage industry education, “the brewing and distilling part is where people quickly focus, but most of the people who work in a brewery or distillery are not brewers or distillers. They are people who make sure that food safety laws are complied with, and that the cap is put on the bottle correctly, and that the equipment operates the way it should, and there are people who do marketing and do finance and do the business side of the operation.” Right now, any beverage education or service is open for consideration, and both Cerniwey and Doan emphasize that all these pieces are part of the “long game” vision for the Center of Excellence. Plans will evolve, but they feel that momentum is building. “Right now people are rolling up their sleeves and our partners in the community are starting to do their part of the job,” Cerniwey says. Partners and supporters include several beverage manufacturers who have yet to be announced; the City of Tumwater; the Cider


Institute of North America; the Port of Olympia; the American Craft Spirits Association; the Thurston County Chamber Foundation; the University of Idaho and Washington State University School of Food Science; the Northwest Cider Association; the Washington Distillers Guild; the Thurston County Economic Development Council; the Port of Seattle; property owners and others. Green of SPSCC says that widespread involvement is what solidified their decision to launch the new programs. “Heidi and John and the City have been terrific partners, I think what’s given us the confidence to move forward with these programs is that there is so much engagement from community and economic development partners,” says Green. “We know that when we can turn out these educated students with these skills that there’s going to be a place for them to go work.” With that opportunity for education, an educated workforce, and possible public/private partnerships down the road, Cerniwey and Doan hope beverage companies will continue to see Tumwater as a good place to set up shop, something they call “bringing brewing back.” “It wasn’t that long ago that this was the place to be for brewing, but the brewing industry has changed, so it’s our opportunity to reinvent that here in our community,” Cerniwey says. “It’s still the water.”

For more information about the Craft Brewing and Distilling Center, please visit www.craftbeerciderspirits.com.


Kunia Camp, Hawaii



hen most of us think of Hawaii, we think of sun-warmed beaches, resort hotels, and those little chocolate-covered macadamia nut candies your coworkers leave in the break room after their vacation. But there’s a lot more to the islands than tropical tourism. Agriculture has been a staple of the Hawaiian economy for hundreds of years. And just as surely as smoke follows fire, where there’s agriculture, there’s distilling. Just 30 minutes’ drive from downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Manulele Distillers feels a world apart from the beachy glitz of Waikiki. The producers of Ko Hana rum, Manulele Distillers is Hawaii’s first rum agricole distillery, and one of the only producers of agricole-style rum in the United States. Originating in the Caribbean and associated primarily (although not exclusively) with French-speaking regions, rum agricole uses fresh-pressed sugarcane juice rather than molasses or other forms of refined sugar. It creates a very distinct, love-it-or-hate-it kind of


flavor that’s grassy, pungent, funky, and somehow alive. And there’s something else that makes Ko Hana rum special: Each expression is produced from a single variety of heirloom sugarcane cultivars originally introduced to the Hawaiian Islands almost 2,000 years ago. Manulele Distillers’ co-founder, Robert Dawson, started the business when he decided he was ready to move on from his previous career in technology consulting. “I knew I wanted to start a business,” he says, “and in Hawaii, there are basically three industries: military, tourism, and agriculture. So I chose agriculture.” In 2009, Robert had become interested in the sugarcane varieties grown by native Hawaiians before western contact. While sugarcane isn’t native to the Hawaiian Islands, it has been cultivated there for thousands of years, and its history is a fascinating one. Could there be an opportunity to create a unique spirit from Hawaiian sugarcane?


A tractor hauls freshly harvested cane to the pressing room, where it passes through a specially designed mill that shreds the cane and extracts the juices. The leftover pressings, heaped on the lefthand side of the trailer, are returned to the field as compost.

The sugarcane plant (ko, in Hawaiian) is native to South Asia and Papua New Guinea, the theorized ancestral homeland of the Polynesian people. As the early Polynesians migrated from South Asia to the Pacific Islands that would become their home, they took many of their most important crops with them. These “canoe plants” included staple crops like taro, breadfruit, coconut, banana, and sweet potato, as well as sugarcane. Nobody’s exactly sure when the first Polynesians arrived in Hawaii, but most people think it was around 400 AD. Since then, sugarcane, or ko, has been commonly grown around Hawaiian homes, and is used for its medicinal, spiritual, and culinary qualities. Hawaiians prized tender, juicy varieties of sugarcane, which are better for consuming fresh, but difficult to process. When sugar plantations, owned by white Americans, arrived in the 1850s, they brought hybrid sugarcanes with them, which replaced the Hawaiian varieties. More uniform, drought-tolerant, and productive, those hybrid sugarcanes were easier to harvest, more efficient to process, and great for making consistent, uniform refined sugar products. But they all tasted the same. You wouldn’t know it from a bag of granulated sugar, but there’s a lot of genetic diversity in sugarcane. Walking the fields at Manulele Distillers, however, it’s obvious. Some canes are so dark they’re almost black. Others are boldly striped in pink, yellow, and green, like a tropical candy cane. Some are very tall, and others are short and stubby. To get the cuttings he used to start his 22-acre farm in 2011, Robert worked with the University of Hawaii’s Agricultural Research division, visited botanical gardens, and bushwhacked into overgrown jungle quarantines to seek out as many varieties of ko that he could find. It wasn’t easy. Replaced by hybrid varieties, some heirloom Hawaiian varieties flirted with extinction, confined to just a handful of specimens. Like many other heirloom and native Hawaiian plants, they faced pressures from introduced pests and animals (one variety was almost destroyed completely by a rogue pig). But Robert persevered, amassing a collection of 36 different


Tasting room manager Mike Cerda pours a flight of varietal Kea rums for a visitor.

varieties of heirloom Hawaiian sugarcanes. Their goal is to make varietal agricole-style rum from each and every one. So far, they’ve distilled about 10. Production began in earnest in 2013. “Hawaii is a post-Prohibition state,” Robert explains. “So there were no dogmatic laws on the books.” In fact, there were no explicit laws about distilling on the books at all. So Robert teamed up with another distiller on Oahu and added distilleries to the state’s existing winery and brewery laws, a legislative shift that had broad support. He also received training and support from Rusty Figgins, noted industry consultant and founder of the Spirits Institute Puget Sound. Today, Manulele Distillers is in full production. One hundred percent of the cane used in the distillery is grown on-site. Farm manager Wat, originally from Thailand, and with valuable experience managing commercial sugarcane farms in Asia, handharvests about one sixth of an acre of cane at a time, resulting in about four tons of cane that will be pressed to create about 500 gallons of sugarcane juice. To press the cane, Manulele uses a cane mill, a highly specialized piece of equipment that looks something like a gigantic wood chipper. Unpasteurized sugar cane juice oxidizes easily and typically carries many wild yeast and bacteria that can cause spontaneous fermentation quickly, so everything at Manulele is geared towards preserving freshness. The cane mill is located just a few dozen feet from the distillery, and distiller Noah pitches the yeast into each batch of juice even before the pressing is complete. And it’s no ordinary yeast. While Robert was testing a variety of different commercially available yeasts at the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, he met a man doing the same thing, but for a different industry: cacao processing. As an experiment, Robert tried that cacao yeast on a batch of cane juice. “The flavor profile was awesome,” says Robert. “Champagne yeast was so crisp and clean, and didn’t preserve that grassy note that comes from the cane. I like the cacao yeast so much more. It was vegetal and grassy, but had no sourness to it.” Cane juice ranges from 14 to 22 brix; 18 is about average. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

Fermentation takes about four to five days, although there’s considerable variation from variety to variety. Some varieties take as long as 12 days to ferment, and some never finish dry due to the starches present in the juice. Then, the fermented juice is single-pass distilled on Manulele’s 600-gallon four-plate hybrid still, made by Artisan Still. Distillery manager Noah Brown, who brings experience from a small craft distillery in Kentucky, typically engages all the plates, although they’re experimenting with disengaging the plates when distilling cane destined for barrel aging. All of Manulele Distillers’ products are currently marketed under the Ko Hana brand. The line includes Ko Hana Kea (Hawaiian for “white”), the name of their single varietal unaged agricole-style rums; Ko Hana Koho, a barrel-aged agricole rum; and Ko Hana Koa, a cask-strength barrel-aged agricole rum. They also produce a liqueur called Kokolea, made from a rum base sweetened with local honey and infused with cacao nibs. Brown brought a spirit of experimentation to Manulele’s aging program, trying new barrels as well as used bourbon, brandy, and even coffee casks. “If something sounds good,” he says, “I’m willing to risk one barrel.” Oahu’s hot weather means evaporation from casks is substantial, about 15 percent a year. In a nod to Hawaii’s agricultural past, the tasting room is located adjacent to the distillery plant inside a stylish, low-slung building that was once the historic Del Monte company store. Step inside and you’re greeted with a restorative glass of sweet,

slightly cucumber-like sugarcane juice. Beyond, visitors peruse an informational exhibit about the history of Hawaiian sugarcane, or sample rums at the long, low-slung bar at the far end. After tasting three different versions of Kea back-to-back, it’s obvious that each cane has substantial varietal character. The differences between expressions are dramatic. The rum made from a cane variety called kea is piercing and intense, with notes of white truffle and tropical fruit. Another, made from mahai’ula, is reminiscent of a stonefruit eau de vie, fruity with a subtle hint of bitter almond. Lehi cane makes a briny, saline spirit that’s great in a martini. Each year, Manulele makes a limited edition “Collection” rum, produced from a combination of every cane variety growing on the farm. This year’s expression was very floral and complex, with faint minerality and that unmistakable grassy sweetness only found in rum agricole. Sugarcane is no longer a major industry in Hawaii. Today, the more profitable pineapple is king. In fact, in December of 2016, the last major sugarcane plantation left on the Islands closed, making Manulele Distillers—all 22 acres of it—the largest sugarcane grower in the state. It’s a bittersweet feeling. But Robert and his team are looking forward, one eye on the past, another on the future. At Manulele Distillers, making distinctive rum means preserving history, one cane at a time.

Manulele Distillers is located in Kunia Camp, HI. For more information visit www.kohanarum.com or call (808) 649-0830.

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www.iscbarrels.com Chad Spalding • 270.699.1557 chad.spalding@independentstavecompany.com





Written by Franklin M. Chen, Ph.D.



Its Application in the

Brewery and Distillery

for Volume Contraction Calculations and

Alcohol Concentration Determination

olume contraction With this paper, brewers and distillers now have access to a third approach for alcohol dilution has been a topic of calculations: the gauging manual method, the Trivagli method as seen in Artisan Spirit and now interest for professionals this partial molar volume approach. If done correctly the partial molar volume approach should and technical staff in the be the most accurate of all based on root thermodynamic principles. The data here are for an brewing and distilling operating temperature of 20 °C. The reader should note that a set of partial molar volume values industry when mixing would need to be calculated for both ethanol and water for each concentration of ethanol to be alcohol solutions of mixed or diluted if a different desired working temperature is used. Once again, however, the different percentages editors believe the tolerances between reporting at 20 °C and 15.56 °C (60 °F) should allow by volume (v/v) (ABV) or extension of the data here to a 60 °F situation. Dr. Chen discussed this approach at different upon mixing of alcohol temperatures in a previous article.3 and water solutions. A recent publication in this magazine presented F I GUR E 1 examples of calculations to account for such volume contractions (sometimes called excess volumes).1 In this article, I present the details for a different approach for calculating volume contraction and provide another confirmation on final alcohol content for those performing required 1.2 alcohol dilutions in their facility. The term partial molar volume refers 1 to a thermodynamic quantity with a strict mathematical definition. In plain English, it 0.8 refers here to the discreet incremental total solution volume changes with the discreet 0.6 incremental increase in the number of moles of alcohol when the number of moles of water is held 0.4 constant. Such a strict mathematical definition ensures that partial molar quantities are 0.2 additive. The proof for this remarkable property can be seen by reference to a physical chemistry 0 textbook.2 It is noted that the presentation 0 20 40 60 80 here deals with a standard temperature of

density (g/mL)

DENSITY DATA from the OIML TABLE (blue) and from UW-GREEN BAY (red)


ABW (w/w, alcohol)



determination of alcohol values at 20 °C, which is the required reporting temperature for many countries, though 15.56 °C (or 60 °F) is still sometimes used in the U.S. For dealing with other temperatures the reader is referred to Chen.3 As further aid to the reader a table tabulating all chemical terms is attached as an Appendix at the end of this article.

TA B L E 1

illustration of the WATER PARTIAL MOLAR VOLUME of ethanol present. Note, the molar mass of e CALCULATION PROCEDURES definitions). The 4 column refers to the num th

Partial molar table of of ethanol present. Note, the molar mass of ethanol is 46.068 (see appended 99.98% (w/w) ethanol stock willofhave (100-99 ofV(total) ethanol present. Note,g/mol then /n molar mass ethanol is 4 ABW density th n1 n2 x1 V/n volume-water 1 2 1 number of moles of water in the composition. Thus definitions). The 4 column refers to the th molar mass ofrefers watertoisthe 18.015 g/mol definitions).The The 4 column number of (see mola 99.98 0.7893 2.1703 0.0011 of 126.695 0.9995 58.3773 0.0005 13.8235 ethanol present. Note, thewill molar of ethanol is 46 99.98% (w/w) ethanol stock will have 99.98% (100-99.98) g/ ethanol 18.015 (g/mol) = 0.0011 moles of water. (w/w) stock havemass (100-99.98) g/ com 18.0 V(total) refers to the total volume of this th definitions). Theof4 58.7201 column refers to the number of mole The99.02 molar mass (see also appended table of definitions). 0.7923of water 2.1494is 18.015 0.0544g/mol 126.215 0.9753 0.0253 14.2183 The molar mass water is is 18.015 g/mol (see also appen 0.7893 g/mL. It simply calculated as 100 g/0 99.98% (w/w) ethanol stock will have (100-99.98) g/ 18.0 97.99 refers 0.7954 0.1116of this 125.723 0.9502 when 59.1061 0.0525 14.3097density is V(total) to the2.1271 total volume composition theismass is 100g V(total) refers total volume of thisand composition wh The molar mass ofthe water 18.015 g/mol (see Theto mole fraction (x1) column afteralso the appen V(tota 0.7893 g/mL. It is simply calculated as 100 g/0.7893 (g/mL) = 126.695 mL for 99.98 % (w/w). 96.99 0.7984 2.1054 0.1671 125.251 g/mL. 0.9265 59.4911 calculated 0.0794 0.7893 It is simply as14.6435 100 g/0.7893 (g/m V(total) refers toare theinterested total volume of this composition whm If we in calculating the partial The95.99 mole fraction ) column 0.2226 after the V(total) column is calculated as n 1/(n 1+n 2) 0.8013 (x12.0837 124.797 0.9035 59.8933 0.1068 14.7351 ) column after the V(total) column is The mole fraction (x 1 0.7893 g/mL. It is simplyeverything calculatedhas as 100 (g/m illustration), to beg/0.7893 normalized If we are interested in calculating the partial molar volumeinofcalculating (the 2ndpartial component in ourV component inwater our illustration). This includes If wemole are interested molar volum Finding Partial The fraction (x1) column afterthe the V(total) column is st illustration), everything normalized byillustration). the number of moles alcohol (the 1 columns of Table 1.beVof(total)/n in our This includes , and nby /n Molar Volumes for Ethanol and Water has to be component illustration), everything has to normalized 1 2 1the num Ifcomponent inofcalculating theincludes partial molar shown inwe theare next two columns Table , and n2/n1.1 shown in the next twovolum component in our illustration). This includes V interested (total)/n 1illustration). in our This Vcan (total)/n In order to calculate partial molar volumes for ethanol and water, 1, The partial molar volume of water then be Theillustration), partial molar volume of waterhas canto then be calculated as:by the everything be normalized num columns of Table 1. percentages a set of density data with various corresponding weight columns of Table 1. component in our illustration). of alcohol (ABW) is needed. Fortunately, Table Vb of the legal   Vtotal This  includes V (total)/n1, The partial molar volume of water can then be calculated as:  of water The partial volume metrology tables known as the OIML tables (www.oiml.org/en/files/   can then be calculated columns of molar Table 1.  V    n1   pdf_r/r022-e75.pdf/view) consists of such a set of data. Figure      V table compared The partial molar 1 shows a plot of data selected from that    of  nwater   can then be calculated OIML    nV2 total volume  total 2 n1      with data obtained at the UW-Green  n      n1   using an  V Bay  (UWGB)   campus  V   1   1  n1      Equation Anton Paar density meter. The OIML data are consistentwith that  Vtotal     Equa    n2  n at theUWGB    n2    n2  n data obtained from the author’s laboratory 1   n2  campus.  1 n    V  1   EQUATION   the  with   VEqua Table 1 presents a set of data values dealing      n11   1   partial total    nhow      Considering the first two data rows: Considering the first two data rows: n    n  molar volumes of water are calculated.  2  n1   2   n1   The first two columns in Table 1 are taken from the OIML table:  Vtotal    n1    and  VtotalmL   (58the  .7201 two 58.3773 mL  0 .3428 Considering the first twoor data the first column refers to alcohol weight percentage (w/w) ABW, rows: Considering   (58.7201  first data)rows:   n n  1  n1  0.0248 mo the second column is the corresponding density in g/mL.  V ) mol  2   (0.02531  0.00051  The third column refers to the number of moles of ethanol in the  two data rows:  total   (58.7201  n1first Considering the n1   the mixture is 100 g. Thus,  n of composition assuming the total mass  calculated  . Thus  n2mol composition 99.98% (w/w) is asthe  (0.02531  0.00051 ) moland  0.0248  2of 99.98 the partial molar volume ofmol water for    ( 0 . 02531 0 . 00051 ) mol  0 . 0248  . Thus the a 99.98 % (w/w) solution consists g of ethanol in 100   n  1  nn1  g of the ethanol-water mixture and this will have 99.98 g/46.068   Vtotal   composition 99.98% (w/w)mass is calculated  0(w/w) .00051 mol as2   (0.02531    0.0248 composition 99.98% as mol . Thus the (g/mol) or 2.1703 moles of ethanol present. Note, the molar  is) calculated n n   0 . 3428 V mL    1   Thus the partial molar volume of water for the composition 99.98 of ethanol is 46.068 g/mol (see appended table of definitions).      1     13 . 82     V % (w/w) is calculated  99.98%  isn2calculated composition as The fourth column refers to the number ofmoles of water mol asnV2 total   in the  total  n1 (w/w)      0.0248  composition. Thus a 99.98 %(w/w) ethanol stock will have (100  n1   0.3428 V    mL V mL   n1   2 0.3428 n1     moles  molar  13.82   of water.  Equation  99.98) g/18.015 (g/mol) = 0.0011 The     V   13.82  Equa  total   0 . 0248 n mol    n     n2   2(see  n1 also 2 0.0248 n2  n mol  appended  table of mass of water is 18.015 g/mol      n  partial 0.3428 mLof water for th V  1 This  n   molar volume definitions).      isn1the   13 . 82 Equa   1   1    mol  n2  n1   n2   0.0248 V(total) refers to the total volume of this composition when the to calculate the parti  n are Readers  encouraged mass is 100 g and density is 0.7893 g/mL.partial It is simply calculated This is the molar volume of water the first with 99.98% (w/w) alcohol. Thisfor is the partial molar 1   volume of water for the first com  composition as 100 g/0.7893 (g/mL) = 126.695 mL for 99.98 % (w/w). The final plots of the partial molar volumes of EQUATION 2ethanol in Readers to calculate the partialare molar volumesto ofcalculate a similar way. The mole fraction (x1) column afterare theencouraged V(total) column is Readers encouraged the partial molar vo This is the partial molar of for the first com shown inwater Figure-2. Plotting the fraction (x1) isvolume calculated as n1/(n1+n2). This is the partial molar volume of water for the first composition The final the partial molar volumes of both water and ethanol asvolumes a the function thewate mole has thethe advantage in that the partial calculated value The final plots of partial molar of of both If we are interested in calculating theplots partialofmolar volume of Readers are encouraged to calculate molar vo with 99.98 % (w/w) alcohol. in Figure-2. Plotting the partial molar volumes against the mole fraction (x1) is shown due to the fact that different labs might have water (the second componentfraction in our illustration), everything has Readers are encouraged to calculate the partial molar volumes of fraction (x1) is shown in Figure-2. Plotting the partial mol The final plots of the volumes both to be normalized by the number of moles of alcohol (the the first calculated has the advantage in that values are ofmolar lab data and isofimportant ethanol with 99.98 % independent (w/w) alcohol. composition data. has the advantage in partial that the calculated values are water indep is shown inofFigure-2. the partial mola fraction (x1)fact due to the fact that different labs might have different ways presenting the have weight due to the that different labsPlotting might different w has the advantage in that the calculated values are indep composition data. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM   81 composition data. due to the fact that different labs might have different w

Figure-2 Partial Molar Volumes of Ethanol (red) and Water (blue) aga The final plots of the partial molar ethanol. F I GUR E 2 volumes of both water and ethanol as Figure-2 Partial Molar Volumes of Ethanol (red) andand Water (blue) against mole f Figure-2 Partial Molar Volumes ofto Ethanol (red) Water (blue) against mo a function of the mole fraction (x1) is There are a few comments note about the data presented in Figureethanol. ethanol. shown in Figure 2. Plotting the partial molar volumes are functions of compositions. As the composition chan ( of Ethanol ) about (in Figure-2. ) fraction Figure-2 Partial Molar Volumes (red)the anddata Water (blue) against mole molar volumes against the mole There are a few comments note presented is volumes. Second,tothe partial molarthe volumes of ethanol are closeFirst, toFirs the There are a few comments to note about data presented in Figure-2. fraction has the advantage in that the ethanol. molar volumes are are functions of compositions. composition changes, so do  g  As the molar volumes functions of compositions. As the composition changes, so calculated values are independent 46.068 mol volumes. Second, the partial molar volumes of ethanol are close to the actual mo a few comments to note about the data presented in Figure-2. First, is that pa   of lab data, and is important due There are mL volumes. Second, the is partial molar volumes of.37 ethanol are close to the 70.0000  58 but, not theactual same ethanol which molchanges, g g to the fact that different labs might molar volumes are functions of compositions.     As the composition so do partia g   mL  46.068.068 .7893  0mol have different ways of presenting the volumes. Second, 60.0000 the partial 46   58  mol mL molar volumes of.37 ethanol are close to the molar volu  but,but, not theactual same. ethanol which is mL  58 . 37 not the same. ethanol which is weight composition data. mol g y = 23.967x3 48.407x2 + 32.816x + 50.414   mol gthe g mL  volumes calculated for ethanol range from .7893   mL 50.0000 In46fact, partial Figure 2 shows Partial Molar .0680all 0mol .7893  molar  R2 = 0.9897   58.37  the molar mL Volumes of Ethanol (red) and Water ethanol which is mL/mol and are lower but, not theofsame. than volume the ethanol. Similarly, 40.0000 mol g   (blue) against mole fractions of In fact, all the partial range from 58.37 mL/ mLmolar 0all .7893 partial  volumes volumes ofmolar water ranging calculated fromcalculated 13.82for to ethanol 18.05 mL/mol are from different from In fact, the for ethanol range 58.37   the volumes ethanol. 30.0000 mL/mol and are lower than molar volume of the ethanol. Similarly, the partia which is 18.05 mL/mol. between the partial y = differences -2.1713x2 - 1.8511x + 18.138 mL/molwater and are lower than the molarThe volume of the ethanol. Similarly, themo pa There are a few comments to R2 = 0.988 volumes of water ranging from 13.82 to 18.05 mL/mol are different from the mol In fact, all the partial molar volumes calculated for ethanol range from 58.37 mL/mol to molar volumes of both water and ethanol are the origins of the volume note about the data presented volumes of water ranging from 13.82 to 18.05 mL/mol are different from the 20.0000 water which is 18.05 mL/mol. The differences between thethe partial volume in Figure 2. First, is that partial mL/mol and are lower than the mL/mol. molar volume ofThird, the ethanol. Similarly, themolar partial molar also composition dependent. because of quality of the data water which is 18.05 The differences between the partial molar volu Partial Molar Volumes of Ethanol (red) and Water (blue) against mole fractions of 10.0000 molar volumes are functions of volumes molar volumes of both water and ethanol are the origins of the volume contractio ofmolar watervolumes ranging of from 13.82 to 18.05 mL/mol are different from the molar volu volumes offer the ability to construct regression equations for both wa both water and ethanol are the origins of the volume contr compositions. As the composition also composition dependent. Third, because of the quality of the data, the partia is composition 18.05 mL/mol. The differences thethe partial molar volumes and t function ofdependent. the fraction of ethanol. The regression equations are 0.0000 ar Volumes of Ethanol (red) and Waterwater (blue)which against mole fractions ofmole also Third, between because of quality of the data, the pa changes, so do partial molar volumes. 2 2 volumes offer the ability to construct regression equations for both water and eth 0.0000 0.2000 0.4000 0.6000 0.8000 1.0000 e a few comments to notemolar aboutvolumes the data presented inof Figure-2. is that partial molar both4.water and ethanol are the origins of the for volume contractions tha and (RFirst, =0.990 for Equation 3, and R =0.988 Equation 4.) volumes ability to Second, the Molar Volumes of partial Ethanol (red) and Water (blue) againstoffer molethe fractions of construct regression equations for both water and function of the mole fraction of ethanol. The regression equations are shown in umes are compositions. thecomposition composition changes, soThird, do partial also because of the quality of the data, the partial molarE Mole fraction (ethanol) of functions ethanol areofclose to the actualAs functiondependent. of the mole fraction ofmolar ethanol.  The regression equations are shown 2 2 2 ments to note about the data presented in Figure-2. First, is that partial and 4. (Rthe for 3,regression Rof=0.988 for Equation 4.)water volume molar of ethanol whichofisethanol 2the partial molar volu me -and ethanol 2equations V=0.988 x13both - 48.407  32.816 x1 a Second,molar the partial volumes are close to actual molar volume volumes offer ability toEquation construct ethanol and 4.=0.990 (R =0.990 for Equation 3, and R forfor Equation 4.)x1 and 1  23.967 These high-quality regression equations then allow for calculation of volume con unctions of compositions. As the composition changes, so do partial molar comments to note about the data presented in Figure-2. First, is that partial function of the mole fraction ethanol. Theberegression equations are shown in Equatio  g   will are of mixed, which illustrated in the following section. Note, - 3which 46.068volumes high-quality These regression equations then ethanol solutions ofvolume different ABV are mixed willx 2be2illustrated in50.414 the allow follow e partial molar arecomposition close to the actual molar of 2 2 3 2 mol  of ethanol partial molar volu me ethanol  V  23.967 x 48.407 32.816 x  are functions of compositions. As mL the changes, so do partial molar and 4.but, (R =0.990 for Equation 3, for 4.) 1partial 1 V  1 denote 1 x x  inme Equations and the molar volumes partial molar volu meR3-4, -=0.988 water 23.967 VEquation - -2.1713 xx11 -  1.8511 partial molar volu - and ethanol x 48.407 32.816 50.414 2  1 1 18.138 but, not not the same. 1 1  58.37 the same. which isg  ethanol solutions of different ABV are mixed which mol  molar of ethanol (component 1) and (component 2) respectively. the partial of ethanol are close to in theEquations actual molar volume  g volumes  Vof2- denote V1 and 6d, .068 Note, 3-4, thewater partial molar volumes of ethanol (c mL 0 . 7893     mol - 3 2 2   mL   2 Both and are expressed as functions of mole fractions partial molar volu me water  V  2.1713 x 1.8511 x  18.138 partial molar volu me ethanol  V  23.967 x 48.407 x  32.816 x  50.414 V V Note, in Equations 3-4, and denote theEquati parti   but, not the same.  g  58.37 1 1 x - 1.8511 1 1 x2  18.138of 1 1 partial molar volume - water 2 V21  - 2.1713 46.068 mol 1 1 g  V V and water (component 2) respectively. Both and are expressed as function ethanol (x ) in the composition. mol the partial molar volumes calculated for ethanol 2 1  1 mL 893 In fact,  allvolumes  58mL/mol .37 mL but, the same. sl thepartial molar calculated for not ethanol rangethan from 58.37 mL/mol to 52.59  V and water (component 2) respectively. Both range from 58.37 to 52.59 mL/mol and are lower the mol 2 1 and fractions ofme ethanol ) inVthe 1  g mL  molar volu - water(x  composition. - 2.1713 x1 - 1.8511 x1  18.138 Equati 7893 2 molar  volume nd0.are lower than the molar volume ofpartial the Similarly, partial of Partial Molar Volumes molar of the ethanol. Similarly, the ethanol. partial molar volumes theApplication fractions of ethanol (x1) in the composition.   l molar calculated for range 58.37 mL/mol to 52.59 ofranging water ranging 13.82 to 18.05 mL/molfrom are different different from for Volume Contraction Calculations of watervolumes fromfrom 13.82 to ethanol 18.05 mL/mol are from the molar volume of Application of Partial Molar Volumes for Volume Contraction Calcula er than the molar volume of the ethanol. Similarly, the partial molar the molar volume of water which is 18.05 mL/mol . The differences Application of Partial Molar Volumes artial for ethanol range 58.37 mL/mol to 52.59 ich is molar 18.05 volumes mL/mol. calculated The differences between thefrom partial molar volumes and thefour examples In this section, are presented to illustrate the for V between theto partial molar volumes and the molar volumes ofmolar bothfour In this section, examples are presented to illustrate the importance of applic nging from 13.82 18.05 mL/mol are different from the volume of importance of applications of partial molar volumes for dilution of lowerof than the molar volume of are the the ethanol. Similarly, the partial molar that are umes both water and ethanol origins of the volume contractions water and ethanol are the origins of the volume contractions that In this section, four arebrewing presented illus partial molar volumes for dilution operations inindustries. the andtodistill 5er mL/mol. The differences between the partial molar volumes andethanol the operations the brewing andexamples distilling ranging from 13.82Third, to 18.05 mL/mol are different the volume of ofin ethanol position dependent. because of the quality the data, the partial molar are also composition dependent. Third, because of of thefrom quality of molar partial1:molar volumes for dilution of ethanol opera oth water and ethanol are theregression origins of equations the volumefor contractions that 100 g of 95.02 % (w/w) ABW 18.05 mL/mol. differences between the volumes andare theExample offer the ability to water ethanol as aABW the data,The theconstruct partial molar volumes offer thepartial ability molar to both construct Example 1: 100 g ofand 95.02% (w/w) pendent. Third, because of the quality of ethanol thethe data, partial molarIn in regression equations forare both water and as athe function of shown this example, we to compare the real volume to the of both water and ethanol the origins of volume contractions that are the mole fraction of ethanol. The regression equations are Equations 3 want Example 1: 100 g of 95.02% (w/w) ABW In this example, we want to compare the real volume to the volume fr bility to construct regression equations for both water and ethanol as a the mole fraction of ethanol. The regression equations are shown 2n=0.990 calculated from the partial molar volumes (Equations calculated 3 and dependent. Third, 3, because the quality of the data, molar for Equation and R22of =0.988 for Equation 4.) 2 the partialvolume In example, we want compare theand real volum in Equations 3 and 4.regression (R =0.990 for Equation 3, and R =0.988 4) versus calculated straight fromto both thestraight masses volumes (Equations 3the 4)this versus the volume calculated from both ethanol. The equations are shown Equations 3as hefraction abilityforof toEquation construct regression equations formolar both waterin and ethanol a& volume  4.) 2 densities of pure liquids (ethanol and water). molar volumes (Equations 3 & 4) versus the volume densities pure liquids (ethanol water). 2 Equation 3, -and R =0.988 for Equation 4.)equations mole fraction of ethanol. regression are shown in Equations 3% ABW,3and olar volu me ethanol  V1 The 23.967 x13 - 48.407 xand x1 of  50.414 Equation 1  32.816 For 95.02 the density was liquids found to (ethanol be 0.8041and g/mL partial molar volume ethanol= and densities of pure water). 2  3, and R =0.988 for Equation 4.) 0 for Equation according Tablefound Va of the tables. Thus, real volume For 95.02% ABW, the densityto was toOIML be 0.8041 g/mLthe according tois:Table Va 2 -3 - ethanol  V  23.967x1 - 48.407x1  232.816x1  50.414 Equation 3 For 95.02% olar volume - 1water  V2  - 2.1713 x1 - 1.8511 x1  18.138 Equation 4 gABW, the density was found to be 0.80 100  EQUATION 3 tables. Thus, the real volume is: 3 2  124.363 mL . The masses of etha lume - ethanol-  V1  23.967x1 - 48.407x1  32.816x1  50.414 Equation 3 100 g g 2 0 . 8041 tables. Thus, the real volume is:  124 e - water  V2  - 2.1713 x 1.8511 x  18.138 Equation 4 mL partial1 molar volume1 - water= g 0.8041 mL 95 and 5 g respectively. number of moles of ethanol water are: The massesThe of4ethanol and water are 95.02 and 4.98and g respectively. lume - water  V2  - 2.1713 x12 - 1.8511 x1 are 18.138 Equation are 95 and 5 g4respectively. The number of moles of ethanol andgwater are: The number of moles o 95.02 g .98 EQUATION 4  2.0626 mol ; n2   0.2764 mol ; mole fractio n1  95.02 g g 4.98g g 46 . 068 18 . 015 2.0626 mol ; n2  n1  mol These high-quality regression equations then allow for calculation mol 46.068 g 18.015 g of volume contractions when ethanol solutions of different ABV m this composition is calculated as x1=n1/(n1+nmol 2), or x1=0.8818. Using both equation x this composition is and calculated as be x1=n 1/(n1+n 2), or determine the partial molar volumes for ethanol water to 58.145 and 14.8 82  WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM determine the partial molar volumes ethanol an respectively. The volume for 100 g of 95.02% ABW calculated usingfor partial molar respectively. The volume for 100 g of 95.02% ABW Partial molar volume (mL/mol)

PARTIAL MOLAR VOLUMES OF ETHANOL red AND WATER blue against mole fractions of ethanol        

g gg11,,mm g gg  mol mol  58 mL mLOIML   46 46.068 18 .V 015 a of ..37 ;; V V V  0.8041  46..068 068 18 18 ..015 015 a37 100 gFor For 95.02% ABW, the density was found to be g/mL according toggmL Table V58 the 22,,m m mol mol  18 mL mL 95.02% ABW, the density was found to be 0.8041 g/mL according to Table V of the OIML mol mol mol mol mol mol  58.37of ethanol ;  . 05 V 124 V mL 1,m  real volume is: and water  .363 mL . gThe masses 0..7893 58 58..37 37 ;; V  V V11,,mm 2,m V22,,mm  0 7893 00.1 mol mol g g mol mol 100 g g gg gg mL mL 0.7893 0.9982 100 0.8041 0 0 . . 7893 7893 0 0 . . 9982 9982 tables. Thus, the real volume is: . The masses of ethanol and water  124 363 mL mL Thus, the realmL tables. volume is: The masses of ethanol and water mL  124.363 mL mL mL. mL mL g g 0 . 8041 Equation Equation 77 isis valid valid only only for for mixtures mixtures of of an an ideal ideal ss 0.8041mL spectively. The number of moles of ethanol and water are: mL Equation 7 is valid only for mixturesEquation of an ideal such asmixtures that mix of benzene Equation 77 valid only for for mixtures of of an aideal such asand Equation 7isis issolution valid valid only only for mixtures of of an ansolution ideal ideal solution solution such such toluene. toluene. But But when when the the components components interact interact suc sucaa .and 98 g areare 95495 5 g respectively. The number of moles of ethanol and water are: and 5 g respectively. The number of moles of ethanol and water are: that of a mix of benzene and toluene. But when the components toluene. But when the components interact such as for ethanol and water, then the molar of ethanol  2.0626 mol ; n2   0.2764 mol ; mole fractiontoluene. toluene. But Butinvolumes when when the theneed components components interact interact such as as for for ethan ethan volumes need to be be replaced replaced by bysuch the the partial partial mola mola g .95 95 02.02 4partial .98 g gneed to be replaced by the interact, g such as for ethanol andto water, then the molar volumes 4 . 98 g 18 . 015 volumes molar volumes (Equations 5a, 5b). ; mole fraction of ethanol in 2 . 0626 ; n   mol n   0 . 2764 mol volumes volumes need need to to be be replaced replaced by by the the partial partial molar molar volumes volumes (Eq (Eq 1 n1  ; mole of ethanol5a,in l mol  2.0626 mol ; 2 n2  need gto be replaced  0.2764 by themol partial molarfraction volumes (Equations g g   g 46 . 068 18 . 015 18 or.068 x1=0.8818. both equations 3.015 and 4,mol weHere is calculated as x1=nof  is calculated 1/(n 1+n2),46 mol mol 5b). mole fraction ethanol in this composition as ,V22 (Eq. (Eq. 5b) 5b) to to represent represent partial partial m m Here we use use VV11,V   we mol  Using V ,V (Eq. 5b) to represent partial molar volumes which are composition Here we use 1 be 2 58.145 Here we use , (Eq. 5b) to represent partial molar volumes V V ,V ,V (Eq. (Eq. 5b) 5b) to to represent represent partial partial molar molar volumes volumes Here Here we we use use artial molar ethanol and water to and 14.817 mL/mol =n /(n +n ), or x =0.8818. Using both equations 3 and 4, we this composition is calculated as x x1=n1volumes /(n1+n2), orfor x1=0.8818. Using both equations 3 and 4, we 1 12+n2), or 1 x1=0.8818. 11 22  Using both equations 3 and 4, we this composition is calculated as1 x11=n1/(n  which are composition dependent while (Eq.7) 7) V dependent dependent while while using using 7) to to repres repres V11,,mm,,,VV22,,mm to using (Eq. (Eq. molar volumes for ethanol and water tomolar be ethanol e volumedetermine for 100 the g ofpartial 95.02% ABW calculated using partial volumes is: determine the partial molar volumes for and water to be 58.145 and 14.817 mL/mol determine the partial volumes ethanol andwhile water towhich be 58.145 and 14.817 mL/molmolar dependent while molar using (Eq. 7) V1for to represent molar volumes which are composition , Vdependent m m , 2 , to to represent represent molar vol vol dependent while using using (Eq. (Eq. 7) 7) V V , , V V represent molar volumes are composition independent. 58.145 and 14.817 mL/mol, respectively. The volume for 100 g of m m 11,,m 22,,m respectively. TheThe volume forfor 100100 g ofg of 95.02% ABW calculated using partial molar volumes is: is: independent. independent. respectively. volume 95.02% ABW calculated using partial molar volumes 95.02 % ABW calculated using partial molar volumes is: independent. Example 2: 100 mL of 95 % (w/w) ABW Ethanol independent. Equation 5a independent. 4.025 mL     Example 2: 2: ABW 100 100 mL mL0.8041 of of 95% 95% (w/w) (w/w) ABW ABWtoEthanol Ethanol TheEthanol density ofExample 95 % (w/w) is g/mL according Equation 5a n1 V .025 mL 100 mL Equation 5a n11 V1nExample 2 V n22 V2 124  2: 124 .025 mLof 95% (w/w) ABW Example Example 2: 2: 100 100 mL mL of of 95% 95% (w/w) (w/w) ABW ABW Ethanol Ethanol of the OIML tables. The total mass is 80.41 g; the masses en this numerical value and the real volume, 124.363 mL is 0.27 %.Table TheVaerrors The The density density of of 95% 95% (w/w) ABW ABW isis 0.8041 0.8041 g/mL g/mL ac a EQUATION 5a a (w/w) of ethanol andaccording water are 76.39 g and V 4.02 g, respectively. NumberThe of the OIML tables. The density this ofequations. 95% (w/w) ABW isand 0.8041 g/mL to Table rrors inherited in the use of the regression TheThe error between numerical value the real volume, 124.363 mL is 0.27 %. The errors The The density density of of 95% 95% (w/w) (w/w) ABW ABW is is 0.8041 0.8041 g/mL g/mL according according to to Ta Ta error between this numerical value and the real volume, 124.363 mL=1.66 is the 0.27 %.and Thenof errors total totaland mass mass isis 80.41 80.41 g; g; the masses masses of=0.223 ethanol ethanol and and of moles of ethanol water are: mole The error between this total numerical value and the real masses volume, of ethanol 1 2 mass is 80.41 g; the and water are 76.39 gnand 4.02 g respectively. come from the errors inherited in the use of the regression equations. total total mass mass is is 80.41 80.41 g; g; the the masses masses of of ethanol ethanol and and water water are are 76. errors inherited intwo the usemole. of the regression equations. =1 Number of ofethanol moles moles of ofxethanol ethanol and and water waterthe are: are: nn76. The moleNumber fraction of is = 0.8814 . Using 11=1 124.363to mLrepresent is 0.27come %. the Thefrom errors come fromafter the errors inherited be generalized totalthe volume mixing but 1 Number of moles of ethanol and miscible water are: n =1.66 mole and n =0.223 mole. The mole fraction 1 2 Number Number of of moles moles of of ethanol ethanol and and water water are: are: n n =1.66 =1.66 mole mole and and 1 1 regression equations (Equations 3 and 4), partial molar volumes in the use of the regression equations. of of ethanol ethanol is is xx11 == 0.8814. 0.8814. Using Usingbut the the regression regression eq e s. We can re-write Equation 5a as:5a Equation cancan beisbe generalized to to represent thethe total volume after mixing two miscible Equation represent total volume mixing but = 0.8814. regression equations (Equations 3two &regression 4),miscible partialequations molar of5a ethanol x1generalized forethanol ethanol and are: after Equation 5a can be generalized to represent the total Using volumethe of = 0.8814. 0.8814. Using Using the the regression equations (Equ (Equ of ethanol is is xxwater 11 =  interacting liquids. We cancan re-write Equation 5a 5a as:as: volumes m m interacting liquids. We volumesfor for ethanol ethanol and water are: are: V  V11  58 58..143 143  water   after mixing two miscible but interacting liquids. We re-write can rewriteEquation mL mLand volumes for ethanol and water are: respectively .   V 58 . 143 , V 14 . 82 mL mL respectively. 1 2 water  V2 volumes for for ethanol ethanol and water are: are:mol V V11  58 58..143 143 ,,V V 1 Equation 5b volumes Equation 5a as: mol and     mol mol 22 Vtotal Equation Using Using Equation Equation 5b 5b in in5b which which partial molar molar volume volume Using Equation 5b in which partial molar volumes are considered, V  n1 nV1 1V1n2 n V2 2 V2 Equation 5b partial Equation in whichofpartial molar volumes are considered, we have V =99.72 mL, an asses (95 g for ethanol andtotal 5 gUsing for water) and5b densities pure ethanol and total Using Using Equation Equation 5b 5b in in which which partial partial molar molar volumes volumes are are consider conside we have Vtotal=99.72 mLof , an error of If 0.28 %. If Equation 7 is used, error error of 0.28%. 0.28%. If Equation Equation 77 isis used used which which ignor ignor EQUATION 5b error ofmasses 0.28%. If(95 Equation 7 is used ignores the composition dependence, we have 3 g/mL for ethanol andIf ρ=0.9982 g/mL for water) mixture, the we only use (95 g in for ethanol andand 5which g5calculated for water) densities of pure ethanol and which ignores the and composition dependence, we have ignores Vtotal =100.82 error error of 0.28%. 0.28%. If If Equation Equation 7 7 is is used used which which ignores the the compo compo If we only use masses g this for ethanol gof for water) and densities of pure ethanol and VVtotal =100.82 mL, mL, an an error error of of 0.82 0.82 %. %. total=100.82 If we only usewater masses(ρV(95.02 g forg/mL ethanol and 4.98 g0.82 for ρ=0.9982 mL, anfor error ofand , an error of for 0.82 %. xture becomes =(ρ0.7893 for ethanol g/mL water) in this mixture, calculated VVmL =100.82 =100.82 mL, mL, an an error error of ofthis 0.82 0.82 %. %. thethe water total ==100.82 0.7893 g/mL ethanol and%.ρ=0.9982 g/mL for water) in mixture, calculated total total water) and densities of pure ethanol and water (ρ= 0.7893 g/mL Example Example 3: 3: Mixing Mixing 100 mL of of 95% 95% (v/v) (v/v) ethanol ethano volume of of the mixture becomes Example Mixing 100 mL 100 of 95mL % (v/v) volume mixture Example Mixing 100 mL ofthe 95% Example (v/v) ethanol with3:144 mL ofof water for ethanol and ρ=0.9982 g/mLthe for 3: water) in becomes this mixture, Example 3: 3: Mixing Mixing 100 100 mL mL of 95% 95% (v/v) (v/v) ethanol ethanol with with 144 144 mL mL ethanol with 144 mL of water calculated volume of the mixture becomes: When When 100 100 mL mL of of 95% 95% (v/v) (v/v) ABV ABV and and 144 144 mL mL of of w w When4100 mL of 95% (v/v) ABV andWhen 144 mL of mL water are mixed, the resulting ABV is 40% (v/v) When 100 mL of 95 % (v/v) ABV andand 144 mL ofmL water are mixed, w1 w2 95 . 02 . 98 g g When 100 100 mL of of 95% 95% (v/v) (v/v) ABV ABV and 144 144 mL of of water water are are mixed mixe w 95.02 g  4.98 g  125.37 mL ABV ABV40 to toaccording the the paper paper written written by by Spedding, Spedding Equation 6according 1 w2 1according the Spedding, resultingEquation ABVetisal (v/v) ABV, to the Spedding, paper written1et according g125 .37 mL 1.. In .%6In that specific article, al, ABV the paper writtenABV by 1  2 w10.7893 used the following formula to find that the final volume w2 g g 95 .02 4.98 g g g to In tha tha ABV according according to to the paper paper written written by by Spedding, Spedding, et et al al used the following formula to find that the final vo 0 . 9982 6  mL  mL  125.37 mLby Spedding,used 1 2  0.7893 et al.1 Equation In that specific article, Spedding, et al., used 0.9982 the following formula to find that the final volu mL mL mL. mL. to find that the final volume of mixing was 1  2 0.7893 g 0.9982 g the following formula mL mL mL. EQUATION 6 TheThe error becomes 0.81% which is about 3 times larger than thethe error using partial molar 237.5 mLerror instead of the 244 mL.partial error becomes 0.81% which is about 3 times larger than using the molar 95 % 95% xV   100 mL  237 volume information. The error becomes 0.81 %, which is which about three times 3larger xV   100 mL.5mL 237.5 mL The error becomes 0.81% is about times larger than error using the partial molar dilutethe dilute 95% volume information. 40 % 40 % xV   100 mL  237 .5 mL than the error using the partial molar volume information. dilute information. 4.98 gthatvolume 40% Equation 6 can be transformed to become: Equation 6  Note  125 . 37 mL Note that Equation 6 can be transformed to become: Note that Equation 6 can be transformed to become: This article, uses the partial molar volume approach to fi This article, uses the partial molar volume approa This article uses the partial molar volume approach to find out 0.9982 g Note that Equation 6 can be transformed to become:   This article, uses the partial molar volume approach L mL w1 w2 w1 M 1 w2 M 2 volume of 7mixing. w w w M w M n  V1,m  n2  V2,m  the resulting Equation Vtotal   95% (v/v), density of this of ABV is ABV 0.8114 g/mL, ag With 95%the the density this is 0.8114 Equation 7(v/v), Vtotal  1  w2 M  w1 w1 M  M2  w2 1 M n1  V1,m  n2 V2,m WithWith  95 % (v/v), the density of this ABV is 0.8114 g/mL , and 1 2 1 1 2 2 a,b 1% which is about 3 times than 1 larger 2 1 the With 95% (v/v), the density of moles this of ABV is 0.8114(ng/m of the OIML table. Number of of ethanol V92.41 1) 7table. Vtotal  M 12 error   2 2 using  2 the  n1partial  V1,m molar nABW Va,b of Equation the OIML Number moles 1  2  M 1  1 2  Vis 2 ,m % according to Tables Va,b of the OIML table. Numberof ethan a,b M M 1 EQUATION   V accordingly: of mass the OIMLmolar table. Number of moles of ethanol 2 1 2 71 accordingly: of moles ofratio ethanol (n1) andtowater (n2)mass are calculated accordingly: where M1M andand M2M areare the molar masses of2 ethanol andand water. The of where the molar masses of ethanol water. The ratio of mass to molar mass 1 2 accordingly: where M1 and Mof are the molar masses of ethanol and water.The The ratio of the molar 2become: the number moles of the specific component. mass to the density is mass an be is transformed to where M and M are the molar masses of ethanol and water. The ratio of mass to molar 1 2 n  1 . 628 mol , n  8 . 321 mol is the number of moles specific component. The ratio of1the molar to the n1  1mass .6282mol , n2density  8.321ismol ratio of mass to molar mass is of thethe number of moles of the specific thethe molar TheThe molar volumes forfor purecomponent. solutions of each component ofmol ethanol isvolume. the number of moles of Theeach ratio molar to8.the is nof 1.628 , n2 and 321density mol 1 the  of the  molar volume. molar volumes of component of mass ethanol and The ratio molar mass tothe thespecific densitypure is the solutions molar M 1 wcomponent. M The mole fraction of ethanol in this mixture is x1mixture = 0.164. Thus, 2 2 The mole fraction of ethanol in this is x1= 0.164. are (as also noted above): The mole fraction of ethanol in this mixture is x1= Equation 7 water   n  V  n  V the molar Thesolutions molar volumes for pure solutions of each component of ethanol and volume. The molar pure of each component 1 also 1volumes ,m volume. 2 for2 ,above): m water are (as noted the partial molar volumes for ethanol and water in this case are is x1= 0. 1 M 2  2 The mole fraction of ethanol in this mixture ethanolethanol and water this case then: gare are and in water in thisare case are then: of ethanol and water alsonoted noted above): above): also   46water .068 18.015 g g then: g (as(as   46 . 068 18 . 015 ethanol and water in this case are then: mol mol mL mL   58 37   mass 18 05 V 1,mmasses V2,m of mol g .58 g.18 he molar water. The ;ratio .37 mL ; V2,m mass   togmolar .05 mL V 1,m   of ethanol mol mol 46.mol 068and 18 . 015 g molmL mol V1 54 mL/mol ; V 2 ; -17V.777 mL/mol 0.7893 0;.9982 mol  58.37 mol g g V.592  54 .592 mL/mol .777 mL/mol mL 2  17 - 18 1.05 the V02.,to m  mL 01.,7893 9982 mL of the specificVcomponent. The ratio of the molar mass density is m mol mol mL mL g g V  54 . 592 mL/mol ; V 2  17.777 mL/mol 1 0.7893 0.9982 The The final final volume using Equation 5, now shows Vtotal =shows e molar volumes for pure solutions of each component of ethanol and mL mL volume using Equation 5, now Vtotal = 236 The final volume using Equation 5, 236.774 now shows Vto Equation 7 is valid only for mixtures of an ideal solution such ascloser that ofwhat aofmix of benzene andcalculated. mL, to Spedding, et al. , had The real lesson Equation 7 is valid only for mixtures of an ideal solution such as that a mix of benzene and The final volume using Equation 5, now shows V d above): total al., had calculated. The real lesson learnedlearned from this exath al., had calculated. The realand lesson from toluene. ButBut when components interact such for ethanol water, then molar Equation 7the is valid only for mixtures of such anasideal solution such as that ofthen aisthe mix ofmolar benzene learnedand from this example that after mixing 100 mL of 95 % ABV toluene. when the components interact as for ethanol and water, the al., had calculated. The real lesson learned from this g ABVmLand 144 mL of water, the final volume is final not 244 mL ABV and mL of the water, the final volume is not  to be 18 .replaced 015 volumes need by by the partial molar volumes 5a, 5b). andfor 144 of water, the144 final volume is molar not 244 mL. The toluene. But when the components interact such (Equations as ethanol and water, then mol volumes need to be replaced the partial molar volumes (Equations 5a, 5b). mL mL ABV and 144 mL of water, the final volume is not 24 58.37 ; V2,m   18.05 40.00-40.12% depending upon ‘true’ correctbe alcohol willABV be 40.00-40.12 % ABVwhich depending becontent 40.00-40.12% ABV depending upon whichcalcu ‘true mol volumes molpartial molar volumes togbe replaced by the (Equations 5a, 5b).   need 0 . 9982 ABV depending upon which ‘true’ upon which be true40.00-40.12% calculated volume is used.  mL V1 ,V2 (Eq. 5b)5b) to represent partial molar volumes which are composition Here wewe useuse Example 4: composition Mixing 100 mL100 of 95% (v/v) with 10w V1 ,V2 (Eq. to represent partial molar volumes which are Here Example 4: Mixing mL of 95%ethanol (v/v) ethanol     Example 4: Mixing 100 mL of 95% (v/v) ethanol wi V ,V (Eq. 5b) to represent partial molar volumes which are composition Here we use   1 2 such as that of a mix of benzene and for mixtures of an idealusing solution dependent while 7) V to represent molar volumes which are composition 1,mV, V2,,m This example is quite useful when we need to know the f WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM   (Eq.(Eq. 83 This example is quite useful when we need to kno dependent while using 7) to represent molar volumes which are composition V   m components interact such as for ethanol1,mand2,water, then the molar This example isare quite useful when we need know dependent while using (Eq. 7) V1,m , V2,m to represent molar volumes which composition solutions with different ABV values. Most professionals independent. solutions with different ABV values. Mosttoprofess placed byindependent. the partial molar volumes (Equations 5a, 5b).

ethanol and water in this case are then: The volume using Equation 5, now shows Vtotal = 236.774 mL, closer to what Spedding, et V1 final 54.592 mL/mol ; V mL/mol 2  17.777 al., had calculated. The real lesson learned from this example is that after mixing 100 mL of 95% V1using  54.Equation 592 mL/mol ; V 2shows  17.777 mL/mol The volume 5, now Vtotal = 236.774 to alcohol what Spedding, et ABV final and 144 mL of water, the final volume is not 244 mL.APPENDIX ThemL, finalcloser correct content will CHEMICAL TERMS al., had calculated. Thedepending real learned thiscalculated example isvolume that after mixing 100 mL of 95% Example 4:ABV Mixing 100lesson mL ofupon 95 %which (v/v)from be 40.00-40.12% ‘true’ is used. The final volume using Equation 5, now shows Vtotal = 236.774 mL, closer to what Spedding, et AND DEFINITIONS with mL of 40final % (v/v) ethanolis not 244 mL. The final correct alcohol content will ABV andethanol 144 mL of100 water, the volume al., had calculated. The real lesson learnedGram from this example is thatmass. after mixing 100 mL of 95% or gram molecular The mass in grams numerically equal to Example 4: Mixing 100 mL of 95% (v/v) ethanol with 100 mLformula of 40% (v/v) ethanol be This 40.00-40.12% ABV depending upon ‘true’ calculated volume is used. example is quite useful when we need towhich know the final weight of a substance or the correct sum of all thealcohol atomic masses in its molecular ABV and 144 mL of water, the final volumetheismolecular not 244 mL. The final content will volume of mixing of two ethanol solutions with different ABV formula. An atom of each element has a characteristic mass and in like manner each This example isbe quite useful when we need tothat know the final volume of(v/v) mixing of twoformula 40.00-40.12% ABV depending upon which ‘true’ calculated volume isethanol used. Example 4: professionals Mixing 100 mLtechnicians of 95% (v/v) ethanol with 100 mL of molecule of a 40% compound has aethanol characteristic mass. For example, the gramvalues. Most and are aware the molecular weight of water (H O) is 15.9994 (rounded 16.0) (atomic mass of oxygen) solutions with different ABV values. Mostproducts professionals and technicians are2 aware that theto final final volume of mixing 100 mL each of two ethanol of + (2 × 1.00794) (atomic mass of hydrogen), or(v/v) 18.02 g.ethanol Example 4: Mixing 100need mL ofto95% (v/v) ethanol with 100 mL ofof 40% This example is quite useful when we know the final volume of mixing two ethanol different of ABV will not100 be 200 mL. But, the question what volume mixing mL each of two ethanolis,products of different ABV will not be 200 mL. Molartechnicians mass. The molar mass is a physical property solutions with different ABV values. Most professionals and areMaware that thedefined finalas the mass of a given is the final volume? But, the question is, what is the final volume? This example is quite useful when we needsubstance to know theelement finalorvolume of mixing ofbytwo ethanol (chemical chemical compound) divided the amount of that For a of 95 mixing % ABV,100 the mL density 0.8114 g/mL, and the volume eachis of two ethanol products of different not be 200formL. substance. The baseABV systemwill international SI unit molar mass is kg/mol. However, solutions with different ABV values. Mostmolar professionals technicians areanaware the final masses areABW almostand always expressed example,that the molar mass of corresponding ABW isis,92.41 a final 40 %g/mL, ABV, the density For athe 95% ABV, the density 0.8114 and the corresponding is 92.41 %.in g/mol. For aAs40% But, question what%.isisFor the volume? water: M(H O) is 18.02 g/mol. mixing 100ABW mLiseach of two of different ABV will not be 200 mL. 2 is 0.94805 g/mLvolume , and the of corresponding 33.305 %. ethanol products ABV, the density is 0.94805 g/mL, and the correspondingMolar ABW is 33.305 %. Those values are The molar volume, symbol Vm, is the volume occupied by one mole the question is,towhat is the final volume? volume.ABW Those values areBut, calculated according the procedures of corresponding For a 95% ABV, the density is 0.8114 g/mL, and the is 92.41 %. For a 40%at a given temperature and 1 presented of a in substance or chemical compound) in this calculated according to the procedures of Spedding, et al., their(chemical articleelement Spedding, et al., in their article1 presented in this magazine. pressure. is equal to the molar mass (M) divided by the ABV, the density is 0.94805 g/mL,we andcan the corresponding ABWxItis 33.305 %. Those values aremass density (ρ). It has the magazine. WithFor this information, and awe95% then1density is andinternational the ABW 92.41 %.although For ait 40% 1, n2,system 1: corresponding With this information, can ABV, calculate , n2, andcalculate x1:0.8114ng/mL, (SI) unit of cubic meters per is mole (m3/mol), is more 1 presented in this calculated according to the procedures of Spedding, et al., in their article 3 to use the units ofABW cubic centimeters per mole /mol) values for liquids and ABV, the density is 0.94805 g/mL, and thepractical corresponding is 33.305 %. (cm Those aresolids. 81.14With  0.9241 94.805  0.33305 23 magazine. thisinformation, we can2.calculate n2,Mole. andAxchemical 1: 1 presented mole is a in chemical unit, defined to be 6.022 x 10 n1  3procedures 130 moln1,Ethanol in molecules, this calculated according tothe of Spedding, et al., theirmass article atoms, or some other unit. The mass of a mole is the gram formula mass of a substance. 46.068 , n2of, and x12:O) has 6.022 x 1023 molecules and weighs 18.02 magazine..805 With this information, we can calculate As an example,n11mole water (H 81 [Ethanol] 81..14 1400..9241 075994 94 .80500..33305 66695  2.3130 mol Ethanol  n  (rounded down to 18.0) grams. 1 mole of ethanol (C2H5OH) has 6.022 x 1023 molecules 1  46.08 grams. n2   3.8517 mol Water 46 . 068 and weighs .14  0.9241  94.805  0.33305 1881 .015  n1   94.805  0.66695  2.3 130fraction. mol Aunit Ethanol 81n.14  0.0759 Mole of concentration. The mole fraction or molar fraction, symbolized 46.068   nx 2   3 . 8517 mol Water 1 (x ) is defined as the amount of a constituent (expressed in moles), ni, divided by the total  0 . 3752 i 1 1881 .015 amount of all constituents in the mixture (also expressed in moles), ntot. The sum of all the .14  0.0759  94.805  0.66695 n1  n2  mole fraction is a ratio of moles to moles, molar n 2  [Water]  3.mole 8517 molmustWater fractions equal 1. Whereas n1 18.015 x1   0.3752 concentration is a quotient of moles to volume. The mole fraction is one way of expressing The information of x1 now partial molar volumes of ethanol and n1  n2 the composition of a mixture with a dimensionless quantity; mass fraction (percentage by n1 allows for the calculation of the x   0 . 3752 weight, wt%) and volume fraction (percentage by volume, vol%) are others. water according to 1 Equations (3) & (4). The partial molar volumes are:  n2 allows for the calculation of the The information of xn1 1now partialweight. molar volumes ethanol Molecular Molecular weight isof a measure of theand sum of the atomic weights of

atoms in a molecule. The according information to of Equations x1 now allows the The calculation water (3)for & (4). partialofmolarthe volumes are: Molecular weight is often used interchangeably with molecular The information of x now allows for the calculation ofbutthe molar of ethanol and mass in chemistry, there partial is a difference betweenvolumes the two. Molecular mass is a measure 1 the partial molar volumes of ethanol and water according to of mass and molecular weight is a measure of force acting on the molecular mass. We do according to Equations (3) & (4). The volumes Equations 3 and water 4. The partial molar volumes are: notpartial cover moremolar explicit details here. are: 

Partial molar volume. This is broadly understood as the contribution that a component of a mixture makes to the overall volume of the solution. However, depending on which solutions are being mixed, there is rather more to this issue than seems to The calculated volume using Equation 8 becomes 198.264 at first glance. This relates binary water and ethanol solutions, for The calculated volume using Equation 8 becomes 198.264exist mL, a contraction of remarkably 1.736 mLto or mL, a contraction of 1.736 mL or 0.868 %. The calculated example, which are non-additive volume mixtures; the resulting volume upon mixing and 0.868%. The calculated alcohol content for this mixture and final volume can be seen to be temperature equilibration is not simply a sum of their respective component volumes. alcohol content for this mixture and final volume can be seen 68.09% ABV. When one mole of water is added to a large volume of water at a set temperature, the to be 68.09 % ABV. volume increases by a specific amount, typically around 18cm3. The molar volume of pure water at 25 °C, for example, would thus be reported as 18cm3 mol-1. However, addition of Conclusion 1 mole of water to a large volume of pure ethanol results in an increase in volume of only 14cm3. The thatthe the increase This article has provided an outline of the procedures involved in reason finding partialis different molar is that the volume occupied by a given This article has provided an outline of the procedures involved number of water molecules depends upon the identity of the surrounding molecules. The volumes of ethanol and water and the subsequent derivation of two useful regression 3 value 14cm is said to be the partial molar volume of water in ethanol in this case (25°C). in finding the partial molar volumes of ethanol and water and equations. Illustrations of the applications of the partial molar volumes for use in the alcoholX in a mixture is the change in volume In general, the partial molar volume of a substance the subsequent derivation of two useful regression equations. per mole applications of X added to the add mixture. Brewers and distillers work at 20 °C or at 16.65 °C beverage industry were presented with 4 key examples. These another Illustrations of the applications of the partial molar volumes for (60 °F), and this paper is directed to looking at the partial molar volumes of water and dimension to apply correct procedures for ethanol products prove useful ethanol at 20 °C which in order toshould allow them to perform correct alcohol dilutions on products use in the alcohol beverage industry dilution were presented with four and know the true final alcohol concentration of their products. for the brewer and distiller. key examples. These applications add another dimension to

V 1  57.178 mL


V 2  17.138 mL



apply correct dilution procedures for ethanol products, which References should prove useful for the brewer and distiller.

1. Spedding, G., Weygandt, A. and Linske, M. (2016).REFERENCES Alcohol dilution practices for distillers. Dr. Franklin Chen received Ph.D. in 19772016; from Princeton Artisanhis Spirit – Spring 65-70. University. He had Colgate-Palmolive (19771. Spedding, G., Weygandt, A.&and Linske, M.(2010), (2016). Alcohol Dilution Practices for 2. worked Engel, with T., and Reid, P., in “Thermodynamics, Statistical Thermodynamics Kinetics” Distillers. Artisan Spirit – Spring 2016; 65-70. 1980), Johnson and2Johnson (1980-1984), and Kimberlynd Edition, Pearson, Upper Saddle Rivers, NJ., page 216 Clark (1984-2002). He retired from Kimberly-Clark in 2002 2. Engel, T., and Reid, P., in “Thermodynamics, Statistical Thermodynamics & Kinetics” 3. Chen, F. and joined the faculty at UW-Green Bay. He was promoted (2010), 2nd Edition, Pearson, Upper Saddle Rivers, NJ., page 216. http://www2.stetson.edu?~wgrubbs/datadriven/fchen/bartender/partialmolarvolum to Associate Professor in 2008. His research interests focus on 3. Chen, F. http://www2.stetson.edu?~wgrubbs/datadriven/fchen/bartender/ echem.html Applied Research and Computation Research. He holds more partialmolarvolumechem.html than 30 patents and has more than 30 publications to his credit.


Proposed Editorial comments




or over 135 years, caramel color has been used by distillers to color a variety of spirits. It plays a large role in the distilling industry, but depending on who you ask, you will hear a lot of opinions about whether it’s good or bad. Some say it’s essential for producing a consistently-colored product that consumers can always rely on, and others say it misrepresents the true spirit. Most of the time distillers add it to their products to ensure they always look the same. For many brands — especially if they are widely distributed — consistency in color is just as important as consistency in aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel, because color affects how people perceive spirits. Consumers typically expect darker, more deeply colored spirits to be richer and heavier in flavor, while they often associate lightly colored spirits with sweeter, brighter notes, and a lighter mouthfeel. Spirits industry veteran, judge, and consultant Steve Beal thinks distillers typically add caramel color for the same WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

reasons they chill filter — to achieve a consistent and desirable shelf presentation. “It’s really just about having a product that looks the same all the time, and is reasonably presentable with what consumers have come to expect commercially,” says Beal. Caramel colors are used in a variety of products, from liqueurs to Scotch, but it’s not allowed in every product. Bourbon, for example, cannot contain caramel coloring according to the TTB’s Beverage Alcohol Manual (BAM). Some products allow caramel color additions if it is noted on the label, but others, like rum, do not require a label statement. Of course, it’s not necessary to use caramel in spirits. Even though it is prohibited in bourbon, Beal says there’s very little reason a distiller would even want to use it for bourbon since new charred oak barrels contribute a lot of color on their own. But for Scotch, where barrels are often used several times, achieving a consistent color, or even much color at all, is tough to do with wood alone.


CLASSIFYING COLOR Caramel colors manufactured for spirit applications are utilized around the world, and they are labeled differently depending on where they are manufactured and used. In the UK and Europe, caramel colors must be labeled as E150a, E150b, E150c, and E150d, and only E150a can be used in Scotch production. But in the U.S., caramel coloring falls into either Class 1, 2, 3, or 4, depending on how it’s produced. “All caramel colors use a carbohydrate source,” explains Terry Geerts, applications technologist for caramel coloring manufacturer Sethness Products Company. Caramel Colors are manufactured according to 21 CFR 73.85, in which these common food-grade carbohydrates are used: dextrose, sucrose/invert sugar, malt syrup, and molasses. Class 1 (E150a) are the most simply processed, Class 2 (E150b) uses sulfite as a carbohydrate reactant, Class 3 (E150c) uses ammonia as a reactant, and Class 4 (E150d) uses both ammonia and sulfite as a reactant for the carbohydrate. Each consecutive class typically offers more color than the previous one, and each class also provides different functionality. Class 1 and 2 caramel colors are more stable in high ABV applications, Class 3 is sometimes used in beer since it is more protein stable, and Class 4 is most often used in soft drinks. All four classes are considered GRAS, or Generally Recognized as Safe, by the FDA. In the U.S., if TTB allows caramel color to be used in a specific


spirit, distillers can use any of the classes. Class 1, which are also known as plain caramel colors, are the most frequently used in the distilling industry. Geerts says Class 1 has a somewhat yellow golden tone that distillers seem to prefer, but depending on the application distillers will sometimes use reddish-toned Class 2. He says he cannot recall selling a Class 3 to any distillers, but in a few rare cases — like darkly colored liqueurs and flavored products — distillers have used Class 4. Chapter 7 of TTB’s BAM features a table that details allowable color usage for individual spirit categories. Looking over the table, some spirits cannot include caramel color, some can include up to 2.5 percent, and others can include more than 2.5 percent by volume in the finished product. “It seems to me that in the distilling industry you don’t need a lot of color,” tells Brian Sethness. While they work with a wide variety of distillers, Sethness says their most common distilling markets are rum, brandy and blended whiskey. How much caramel distillers use will depend on many factors, including what the market standards are for the specific product they are making. Geerts at Sethness says he often sees distillers using a .02 percent solution or less. For distillers who want to try using caramel, Geerts recommends beginning at a very low rate of .01 to .05 percent by volume. They can always move up from there, provided they stay within TTB’s


requirements for the specific product they are coloring. Geerts also recommends using liquid, rather than powdered, caramel coloring formulations. And while they are not specifically designed for this purpose, he says they do offer some UV protection, as well.

MORE THAN JUST COLOR? So does caramel color affect the aroma, flavor, and viscosity of the final spirit? That’s a debated issue, and there’s no widely accepted definitive answer. On its own, caramel coloring does have some flavor characteristics. Geerts says Class 1 colors are usually somewhat bitter, while Class 4 colors are generally mild. Whether or not that flavor is detectable in the finished spirit — especially at very low usage rates — is tough to answer objectively. Even if it was measurable through mechanical analysis, that does not necessarily mean it will affect a person’s sensory experience. There are plenty of people on both sides of that issue. Beal says that in his 20 years in the whiskey business, he’s not sure he’s ever been able to tell whether or not a spirit contained caramel coloring through sensory analysis. “I pretty much have an idea that it’s involved in a lot of cases, but there’s no confirmation from me, and I have a pretty sophisticated nose and palate, I would say.” Others say it does affect the final spirit in nose, palate and viscosity, especially in products other than whiskey. While whiskey

caramel additions are often quite low, some other products use higher rates. Alternatively, several distillers who don’t use caramel coloring actually use that as a selling point. For them, color variation from batch to batch is a positive thing because it keeps their customers interested in each subsequent release. They use the absence of caramel, often in conjunction with the absence of chill filtering, to market their products as a purer option than their competitors’ colored products. Some consumers are looking for that experience, but whether or not an uncolored whiskey is more pure depends on how consumers define purity in whiskey. Some argue that caramel coloring is added to deceive consumers into thinking a product is older than it is. In some cases this may be true, but that’s not necessarily accurate for a 12-year-old Scotch which contains caramel coloring since the color it obtained from resting in used cooperage would be very pale. Further, several caramel proponents say the market demand for brown spirits simply necessitates added coloring. If consumers want spirits without added caramel coloring, they are going to seek them on that basis. But if the addition of caramel coloring isn’t a quality factor a consumer considers when buying spirits, they probably won’t care whether or not the product contains caramel. Like many decisions in the distilling industry, adding or avoiding caramel coloring comes down to what the consumer wants to purchase and what the distiller wants to make.


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n the course of advising entrepreneurs, hooch and otherwise, I regularly receive this objection when offering suggestions about how to maximize the value of a business. This conversation springs from my belief — odd as it may seem — that one guiding principle for decision-making in a for-profit venture should be the question of what course of action is most likely to increase the value of the enterprise in the eyes of a potential acquirer. And, naturally, the potential of such an acquirer can offend the proud owner of a business who expects to run it throughout her career and then pass it along as a legacy to her progeny. But of course it rarely actually works that way. The vast number of businesses that survive (i.e., businesses that do not simply fold) do not find their way into the hands of their founders’ heirs. They are more commonly sold to a third party. And even if they did end up in the hands of the entrepreneur’s kids, using the critical eye of an independent acquirer as a test for decisions offers the owner a lens through which to evaluate capital expenditures, expansion plans, personnel decisions and any number of other critical items. So, if we assume as true the notion that an acquirer’s perspective is useful for approaching the management of your business, then perhaps we can also agree that one of the better things you can do as you proceed down the path of entrepreneurship is to be continuously working to prepare your business for sale. With that in mind, how do you prepare for such a transaction? Building on prior discussions in Artisan Spirit Magazine’s Fall 2016 and Winter 2016 issues, below I explore a number of concrete ways to build value in preparation for a potential sale, whether that sale


is actually on the horizon or simply being used as a hypothetical exercise to aid in decision-making to build enterprise value.


Several years ago, my wife and I had occasion to put our family’s home on the market. We dutifully engaged a realtor, who earnestly told us that our small house would “show better” and be more attractive to potential buyers if it looked larger — and the best way to make it appear more spacious was to reduce the number of things inside. The realtor wanted to stage the house and said she needed to remove some of our belongings and rearrange the furniture. She was being kind when she described the needed steps in this way. In fact, what she intended to do was to remove substantially all of my belongings from the space — leaving my wife’s things — and rearrange accordingly. At first I was hurt by this. After all, removing my things was a reflection on me, wasn’t it? Was I, in some way, an embarrassment to the household? Well, perhaps. But perhaps not, as well. After all, maybe that chair in the living room (that fit my posterior so perfectly) was just a little bit bedraggled. What’s more, what if our target buyer wasn’t a business lawyer with a penchant for playing the banjo? What if by force of my personality, likes and dislikes, hobbies and foibles, I was a potential impediment to my own goal: the maximization of the value of our home in a sale? To be sure, selling your business is in many respects different WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

than selling your home. But in this respect it is not: the buyer’s potential use of the asset is more important than your own when it comes to determining what the buyer will pay. While I might highly value a place to sit in a comfortable chair surrounded by banjos, a buyer is just as likely (or more likely) to value a reading nook or watching television in that same space. Similarly, while you may value an experimental program in which you are doing interesting and exciting things with unusual yeast strains as you work to perfect a signature sweet potato-based gin, a potential buyer may prefer that you devote that time, energy and resource to the development of something a bit more mainstream. The key here is not to view a buyer’s views as indictment of your own, or as a dismissal of your aspirations, but rather to understand that achieving the maximum value for your business is most likely going to be obtained from pursuing a business strategy that is consistent with what the greatest number of potential buyers will want. Make no mistake, in taking this approach you may lessen the likelihood of finding that one potential buyer who is willing to pay a significant premium for your company because of your quirky gin. But you significantly increase the chances that you will find multiple potential buyers who may be interested in acquiring your business. And just as I hoped to find multiple buyers for my home, your chances of maximizing the value of your enterprise are greatly increased if you’ve got multiple offers. With that in mind, ask yourself these questions:

»» »» »» »»

What is your business? What are the key products that you are bringing to market today and that you expect to bring to market in the future? How do these products fill a market void? How are they compelling to the consumer?

You must be able to answer these questions for yourself succinctly and without hesitation in order to be able to convince a buyer to write a big check. And to answer them in such a fashion may require you to take a hard and fresh look at the business and its initiatives, and pare back those initiatives accordingly. In short, you may need to hide the banjos.


Truth be told, there is quite a bit of drudgery involved in running a small distillery. From polishing copper stills to filling bottles and affixing labels, there is often not much time left at the end of the day to actually enjoy the product of your labors. But unfortunately the care and maintenance of a spirits business doesn’t stop there. To achieve the best potential outcome of the sale of your business you need to be doing more than the day-to-day physical tasks associated with the operation — you also need to spend some time focusing on legal maintenance. A list of all the specific to-do items of legal maintenance for a business preparing for sale is beyond the scope of this piece, and in any event will be different for the specific business being sold.


But as a starting point, consider the following:

CORPORATE RECORDS. Is the business up to date in terms of meetings of its board of directors and shareholders (or similar governing bodies)? Do the records of the business contain minutes of their meetings (or written consents in lieu of meetings)? Is the company’s ledger of shareholders (or members if the business is a limited liability company) up to date? By paying close attention to these items and being able to demonstrate attention to detail to a potential acquirer, you reduce the likelihood that your buyer will reduce the potential value placed on the business because of concern that corporate formalities haven’t been followed. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

Regardless of the specific nature of your spirits business, you almost certainly have some form of intellectual property. That property could be as simple as the recipe for your spirits (possibly a trade secret), as complicated as your patent application for a new form of dephlegmator, or anywhere in between (e.g., trademarks for your logos and copyrights for your written materials). In each of these cases, you need to consider the appropriate level of protection to seek for the underlying intellectual property, the jurisdictions in which you want to obtain that protection, and how far you are willing to go (i.e., how much you are willing to spend) to maintain it. Make no mistake, with some types of intellectual property (particularly trademarks), you must police the actions of others (i.e., prevent them from infringing on your rights) if you want to keep your rights. That can be an expensive proposition, but if you want to achieve the best value for your business in a sale (and you believe your brand and goodwill are a significant portion of the enterprise’s worth) then it is likely money well-spent.

CONTRACTUAL MATTERS. As part of your preparation for potential sale, you need to review and evaluate the contractual position of the business. A potential buyer will do this in its consideration of the transaction, so you are well advised to undertake your review well before starting a potential transaction process in order to have time and opportunity to address any potential concerns. For a spirits business, contractual concerns most commonly center around distribution agreements. A particularly onerous distribution agreement can, in some cases, make a buyer reconsider making an offer. And even if the buyer doesn’t walk away, the buyer may be expected to offer less for a business if the acquisition will mean that it finds itself saddled with a distribution agreement it doesn’t want, such as one containing a draconian buyout clause. In addition to reviewing distribution agreements, however, spirits companies should also look at several other forms of agreements that are not unique to the spirits industry. Those include leases for any real property; employment contracts for key employees; intellectual property licenses to which the business is a party (either in-bound or out-bound); employee incentive arrangements (e.g., stock option plans); and any other contractual arrangement that is likely to have a change in control provision which may be triggered by the potential transaction. In reviewing these items,


take particular care to understand whether the contract will require the consent of the other party in the context of a potential sale, or whether a potential sale will result in a loss of your rights under the agreement, and try to address these concerns before beginning discussions with buyers.


All too often, privately held businesses (large and small) are embarrassed when the time comes for them to share their financial statements with a potential acquirer. The problem isn’t so much that the financial statements make them look bad or that they look too good, but rather that they simply don’t always reflect the results of the business if it were to be run by a neutral party. The business may be paying for personal expenses of the founders, or it may be accounting for costs of the business in a manner more related to tax positioning than an effort to cause the financials to accurately depict the business’s operations. Certainly, accounting and tax rules can differ, but for a buyer to properly evaluate the results of an operation it really needs to have transparency and an understanding of how the business has been run. For most buyers of any meaningful size, this means they want to see a target’s financial statements to be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Note that the GAAP financials of a target don’t necessarily need to be audited — depending on the size of the operation that may be an unnecessary expense — but they should be reviewed by an outside accountant if the intent is to give a buyer comfort that the financial statements are reliable.


This one is tricky. Much like the realtor’s effort to stage my home, the savvy seller will want to conduct a thought experiment and put herself in the position of an acquirer. With that perspective, she should consider two questions. First, what problem is the potential acquirer trying to solve in its own business by making an acquisition? If the seller can identify something that the buyer (or better yet, a class of buyers) needs, then the seller can use that information to position itself as a solution to the buyer(s) problem(s). Make no mistake, this is a difficult task. But the seller that achieves this feat will be rewarded by having significant leverage in negotiations with the potential buyer. Second, what problems will the potential acquirer find in the seller’s business and strategy? In some businesses, these problems consist of customer or supplier concentrations (e.g., a substantial majority of the seller’s products are sold to a single customer — or the seller is troublingly dependent upon a particular supplier in order to make and sell its products). In other businesses, these problems consist of internal difficulties (e.g., a fractious shareholder, former partner or disgruntled former employee). Your buyer will not want to purchase a problem — and so may discount the value of your business significantly if these or similar problems present. The clever entrepreneur will scour her business for these pitfalls and address them before approaching buyers.

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Unless you are a serial entrepreneur, you may only sell a business once. And when you do, it can be a very stressful time. To navigate these waters, it helps to surround yourself with people who have done this before. For that reason, the wise entrepreneur will begin assembling his transaction team well before a potential sale. That team will include the usual professional suspects (e.g., accountant and attorney) but may also include a few supporting characters who can play very useful roles. First among these supporting characters is an entrepreneurial mentor. If you have successfully brought your business to a point where someone might want to buy it, chances are pretty good that you’ve found a mentor or two along the way. This is not the time to abandon those relationships. Rather, the support of a friend who has sold a business (or several) in the past can be extremely helpful. This person can act as a sounding board for you as you evaluate potential deals and post-closing arrangements, and can be a valuable support when you believe that the business may not survive the attempt to sell it and the accompanying distraction of the sale process. Second, consider the benefit that can be found by bringing in your own personal financial advisor or estate planner. If this is your first sale, you may have a significant amount of your personal net worth tied up in the business. Selling the company can be a key to unlocking that value, but it is wise to have your personal house in order before you turn that key.

The last thing you want is to sell your business for a fantastic price only to find that because of the way you held the business (or your interest in it) you owe more tax on the transaction than might have been necessary. Getting your financial advisor involved early can help avoid this result. And of course you also don’t want to sell your business, obtaining a large amount of cash, and then find that you spend it too quickly. Your financial advisor can help you avoid this, as well. Not every business is identical, and consequently not every transaction faces the same particular challenges. But by being prepared early, assembling the right team, keeping up with the necessary maintenance and putting yourself in the position of a potential acquirer, you can anticipate the majority of the problems that may impede or change the value of your potential transaction. Of course, you may never wish to sell. In fact, you probably don’t. But just in case you ever do, consider these tips. And I’ll let you in on a little secret — doing these things will also help your business flourish regardless of whether you sell. Not a bad outcome.

Brian B. DeFoe is a business lawyer at Lane Powell, where he focuses his practice on helping companies in the customer-facing industries of hospitality and retail. Brian can be reached at defoeb@lanepowell.com, via phone at (206) 223-7948, or on Twitter @BrianBDeFoe. Visit www. hoochlaw.com for more thoughts on spirits and the laws that govern them.  This is intended to be a source of general information, not an opinion or legal advice on any specific situation, and does not create an attorneyclient relationship with our readers.

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Celebrating the Colorado Bounty at



t’s no accident that Palisade, Colorado’s Peach Street Distillers is perfectly located to take advantage of the abundance that is Colorado’s Western Slope. When Dave Thibodeau and Bill Graham, two of Ska Brewing Company’s founders, paired up with Rory Donovan, they knew they wanted to make spirits that were a reflection of place. “It’s in Palisade because we really did want to be close to our fruit and grain sources,” spirits liaison Ryan Negley says. “We’re an extension of the agricultural industry.” Peach Street was opened in 2005,


buying overripe or blemished fruit from local growers, as well as the sweet corn that has made the nearby town of Olathe a byword in Colorado agriculture. “It seemed like an untapped spot, and right on the I-70 corridor,” head distiller Davy Lindig says. “It’s something that’s unique to us. Colorado distilleries are discovering Palisade fruit and getting it over to the Front Range, but we get it off the tree and into the fermenter the same day.” The fruit, they found, can be had for pennies on the dollar, since they can use local peaches, pears, plums and cherries

that would have otherwise been unsellable for the grower. As the first Colorado distillery since Prohibition, and still the oldest locally-owned distillery in the state, they had to hammer out a new, or very old, approach. “There hadn’t been distillation in Colorado for 100 years,” Negley says. “We’re three or four generations away from anyone who had dealt with this. It’s kind of a neighborly handshake agreement. These fruit farmers we deal with say, literally, ‘This is trash.’ They looked at us like we were crazy, but it’s another income source.” WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

“Colorado distilleries are discovering Palisade fruit and getting it over to the Front Range, but we get it off the tree and into the fermenter the same day.” — Davy Lindig HEAD DISTILLER, PEACH STREET DISTILLERS

Lindig, a former craft brewer, said the early days were extremely scrappy as they tried to get off the ground. “We didn’t know how to make the stuff,” he says. “There wasn’t a market for it. Rory was here hand-selling the stuff. I picked up odd jobs for the first couple years because we weren’t making any money.” Learning to ferment fruit was a different challenge for distillers used to making beer, which has the nutrients yeast needs: “It’s tricky to ferment, you’ve go to add all that stuff back in. Grain is easy to ferment.” A bourbon quickly went into production, and finding a distributor to work with helped put wind in their sails. “It made all the difference in the world,” Lindig says. “It was life or death for us at that point. We could actually put barrels away.” Since then, the facility has grown from a small warehouse/garage unit with a dirt floor to three buildings, including a rickhouse. They’ve got a new 500-gallon still up and running, a scaled-up duplicate of their original still, which Negley says, “quite literally came out of a barn in a field in Germany. Being that it was German, it was a brandy still.” WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  


They’ve also added a 30-foot column, which can be seen sticking through the roof in its own glass cage. With the recent expansion and a separate space to house brewing, fruit processing, fermentation and packaging, Lindig is looking forward to getting his silo filled up with local corn and gradually ramping up production. “We’ll be able to mash every day,” he says, eventually filling up to 10 barrels a week. They bottle single-barrel batches of Colorado Straight Bourbon, at least two years old, and receive feedback from customers batch-to-batch. “People will talk about it, say, ‘Boy, (barrel) 101 was really good,” Lindig said. They don’t package everything at two years, though; Peach Street has received label approval and is getting ready to release a five-year, as well. They’ve expanded the products over the years to add a 45 percent ABV citrusforward amaro, crafted with 36 different ingredients, and they’re producing grappa

from pomace provided by two local wineries — DeBeque Canyon and Garfield Estates. In development, there’s a peated single malt and a rye with Colorado Malting Co. grain. They round out a full lineup — 27 different products — with vodka, gin, agave spirits, and two bierschnapps, one made from Left Hand IPA and the other from Ska Brewing’s Steeltoe Stout. With a recent expansion, Peach Street

was also able to dedicate more space to their tasting room. They also went through a rebranding, creating more cohesive labeling and giving each product a “spirit animal.” “In the last year, we’ve done a lot,” says Lindig.

Peach Street Distillers is located in Palisade, CO. Visit www.peachstreetdistillers.com or call (970) 464-1128 for more information.

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DRAIN THE BAD NEWS It began on a Friday afternoon. My wife and I stopped at the printers to pick up stickers promoting our medal from the San Diego International Spirits Competition. While waiting, we asked the owner of the print shop how he liked the bottle of our vodka he had purchased the week before, and that’s when he hit us with the bad news. He admitted that it was not that good. Our reaction was an incredulous, what do you mean it wasn’t that good? Ten minutes later he confessed that actually, it had been rank. He had poured it down the drain. We had vodka in the back of our car. Does any craft distiller go anywhere without some product and a handful of business cards? I retrieved a bottle and we retired to the back of the shop. What I tasted was our standard high quality potato vodka. When he tasted it, his face broke out in a grin. “This bottle will go with me to the football party on Sunday,” he announced. Over the next few days we confirmed that some of our bottles of product were tainted. Instead of a clean finish, the aftertaste was foul and prolonged. We had a problem. We did not know it yet, but we would issue a voluntary manufacturer’s recall. Once we confirmed we had a problem, our first instinct was to determine how large the problem was, how serious it may be, and what had caused it. We had no idea what the source of the problem was or if there was any health hazard. Our product had been on the market for nine months. All of our time, effort, and expenditures could be for naught. We could be exposing good people who had trusted us to harm. We were terrified. What should we do?

SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS I soon turned to finding out how to handle a recall. I found two principle sources for written help. The first was TTB Industrial Circular 2010-6, which I found online. The contact info on that dated notice was incorrect, but the person who answered the phone was very helpful in directing me to the right person. The second was an article in the Winter 2015-16 issue of Artisan Spirit WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  


Magazine. It was full of helpful information, but did not come close to conveying the hands-on experience. That is what I offer here. We decided from the onset that addressing this problem and getting any bad product off retail shelves was our first priority. We would deal with any adverse fallout as it came. This decision to act promptly is crucial. You cannot respond, and you cannot avail yourself of all the assistance that is out there, unless you are willing to fess up and start asking for help. Let me emphasize, we encountered no government official at either the federal level or the state level that took an adversarial position. Everyone focused on determining what the problem was, how big the problem was, and how to address the problem. Our chemist spent all of her time testing, reviewing production reports and examining lab records searching for any culprit. We confided in our suppliers, then asked them if they were aware of anything concerning their products that could lead to any problem. The TTB officer we reported to checked with others in the TTB to see if their experience could identify any cause. He also contacted the FDA to garner their expertise. We had garnered a small army now researching our issue. We determined that the problem spanned multiple batches. From that fact we concluded that our contamination had to originate during the bottling process or afterwards. That meant any recall needed to apply to all bottled product. Before the first week was over, we decided we had to act without having a clear idea what we were dealing with. Our state agency, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) raised their own issues. They had no idea how we would implement a recall. Details of the last recall were vague memories. Three-tier regulations restricted responses to each segment of the market. As a craft distillery, our distribution channels were more complex than larger distilleries. The state agency started resolving questions on their end. By the end of that first week, WSLCB had told us how to recall bottles from liquor stores and from bars and restaurants. We also had a very reasonable but unverified source of our problem. We


produced new bottles of product then withdrew numerous tasting samples that all passed our standards. At that point we wanted to act rather than wait for confirmation of the origin of the contamination. We knew that any definitive conclusion, if we ever got one, could take weeks or even months. We also wanted to replace bottles, not engage in any buyback activity, so our concern extended to whether we held adequate confidence in our new bottled product. We decided we were as certain as possible without a lab confirmation of the contamination. Every decision we made throughout this process we based upon incomplete information and inferences.

A VOLUNTARY RECALL Any voluntary recall is solely up to the manufacturer to perform. Neither the TTB nor the state gets involved. Fortunately, our distribution area was miniscule. By the following Tuesday we had visited every liquor store and had replaced every bottle in stock with new product. We had also visited every bar and restaurant that we knew featured our liquor. We realized there could be others that we were not aware of. Simultaneously we were working with our state agency to finalize details of our recall and produce our press release announcing it. The state director had the agency media agent at WSLCB contact us. He started the press release process by sending us samples of public notices. After we had a rough draft worked up, we sent it back to him for his input. We sent another copy to the head


enforcement officer of the state to ensure that the details of our recall met state requirements. It was our responsibility to settle on the final wording and get it distributed. While we were solely responsible for the press release, their reviews were very helpful. They also provided a list of news outlets upon which we could base distribution of our public notice. As it turned out, the TTB informed us that the FDA had decided that there was probably no health hazard on the same day that we completed our tour of our distribution territory replacing all bottles in retail outlets with certified new bottles. The relief we felt upon hearing that our recall was apparently a Class I recall, meaning no known health impact, was very welcome. It would not have come nearly as soon if we had not promptly notified the TTB that we had a problem of unknown origin and unknown health consequence. We were still formulating our formal recall notice, and now had high confidence that the problem was limited to unpleasant product alone.

GOING PUBLIC We asked ourselves whether we should proceed with the public notice and consumer recall or not. Others questioned whether we wanted the adverse publicity. We decided to proceed. We did not want unidentified bars and restaurants, or any customer to open a bad bottle and think it fairly represented our product. We were certain that word of the recall would get out, and we wanted to provide the official word on what happened and what we did about it. Foremost, we felt that it was the responsible thing to do for


our consumers and our distribution channels. My background is in consulting engineering: Responsibility to customers and the public had been my guideposts for too many years. Both the TTB and the WSLCB will protect the public from bad liquor, but their primary responsibility is always to protect the tax revenue. Since there was no perceived health threat, we were limited on how we could compensate the public for any claims. We sidestepped all complications by offering compensatory pricing to the public. Our recall offered bottles of our premium vodka at onequarter of the normal purchase price. If any consumer had poured a foul bottle out, this offer would not provide full compensation, but it was what we could readily offer given the regulatory limitations. We followed up the public announcements with notices on our website and advertising dedicated to addressing the recall.

SURVEYING THE AFTERMATH What was our problem? We have not yet found a lab to run tests to confirm, but here is our best guess. We did not know, but new glass can have a potential issue. Soda ash is a possible byproduct from the glass kiln, and apparently a thin film can settle upon the surface of a bottle during production. As I understand it, it is akin to burnt baking soda. Some bottles may have little or no film on their interior surface and some have more. Our understanding is that domestic bottles may be cleaner than some imports, which is why our problem Artisan_7.5� x 4.687.pdf 1 02/02/17 19:53 showed up so sporadically, as our bottles come from the U.S. When


distilleries blow out or wash their bottles they need to assure the process is sufficiently robust to eliminate this film. We now flush our bottles twice as long as what seems to be necessary. Here is a side issue. You must place serial numbers on every case you bottle and remove from bond. Track where every case goes. In the event you open a case and present bottles to various vendors, keep track of where each bottle ends up. Though the FDA and the TTB share responsibility for food safety, making this issue a bit murky for distillers, in the age of terrorist threats, the ability to track every ingredient through your production process, into your bottles and to the purchaser is important. You should be able to identify every potential contaminated bottle within 24 hours. My tracking system is now more robust. Did we take the correct course? Only time will tell. I do feel proud of how we responded. We protected the public from any potential threat, and did the best to protect our reputation. If you ever face the same issue, some things are certain. It will be terrifying. You will make decisions on the fly with inadequate knowledge. The actions you take could significantly impact the health of your customers and the success of your business. Good luck.

John Koehler was a consulting engineer and designed custom automated machinery for most major manufacturing fields. He received a MS in Engineering Management in 1997. He has spent the last 27 years developing a new business model for entrepreneurship. His proof of concept is Eagle Cliffs Distillery in Longview, WA. The company website is www.ExaltLiquor.com



Maillard and the incredible reactions he uncovered in 1912 PA R T 1 – T H E C H E M I S T R Y W R I T T E N



S P E D D I N G,

P H . D.

This article introduces a very important cooking process known as non-enzymatic browning, and then covers the intimately related and complex “Maillard reaction,” in hopefully an easily accessible way. In fact, not one, but rather an incredible cascading series of reactions take place during cooking of food and beverage raw materials production, preparation and use. These chemical processes ultimately lead to the production of thousands of components providing complexity to overall flavor profiles and the color of beverages. While keeping the chemistry to a minimum we will provide, in a two-part article, the details of these fascinating reactions and demonstrate where, when and how they affect your distilled spirits.


ery complex, though simply elegant chemistry known as the “Maillard reaction” (pron. “my-yard”), which actually involves hundreds of chemical reactions, dictates much of the flavor of all cooked foods, including the overall flavor profile of beer and distilled spirits. These reactions are also known as nonenzymatic browning reactions due to the colors imparted through the chemical components generated and, while they can occur at lower temperatures, most effectively take place under heating conditions. Biological systems, and thus many foods, can also turn brown through enzymatic browning reactions, but these are not covered here; enzymes are inactivated under relatively low temperatures (e.g., 30-40 °C) and so cooking food terminates such enzymatic processes. So, it is to cooking and Maillard we turn our attention. The basic process which can be considered a cascade of reactions is shown in Figure 1, with further explanation illustrated below. A simplified definition would run as follows: In food chemistry, any heating steps involving the presence of sugars and amino compounds (ammonia, amino acids, proteins or polypeptides) lead to the complex reactions originally demonstrated by LouisCamille Maillard (1878-1936) ca. 1912. Maillard demonstrated to scientists at the French Academy the formation of a yellowishbrown colored liquid, via mixing amino acids and sugars. That the discovery failed to knock the academy scientists off their chairs


is now well known and, likely in part due to two world wars, his work (1912-16) was not resurrected until the 1950’s. Since then the Maillard reaction has gained worldwide interest from both the food and medical fields with relevance to food flavor and coloring, digestibility of food, and due to the toxicity of certain Maillard compounds and associated implications for several diseases. The modern era of research, starting in 1953, is attributed to a J. E Hodge, who first defined three stages or phases to the Maillard process, and then unraveled some of the overall complexities of the scheme within each stage. When the Maillard, non-enzymatic “browning reactions” take place, they lead to the formation of reducing substances and a plethora of flavorful compounds which include malty, toasted, bready and nutty flavors. The reducing substances, which were termed reductones, were shown to exhibit antioxidant behavior and thus to reduce the number of damaging oxidation reactions which occur during product aging. Brewers and maltsters have been aware of Maillard-type reactions since the early 1900s and it is known that darker beers made with the more highly roasted malts have more reducing potential, due to higher reductone content, and thus longer shelf-life stability. Modern day distillers are making use of an ever-wider variety of grains, cereals and other ingredients that may have been “touched” by the magic of Maillard chemistry, and they should thus understand more about this topic. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM










-2 H20















+ H 20



(acetol, butanedione, 2-oxypropanal, etc.)














FIGURE 1 — A simplified schematic of the processes involved in the Maillard reaction. Three stages are considered:

Stage I: A — Sugar-amine condensation, B — Amadori rearrangement. Stage II: C — Sugar dehydration, D — Sugar fragmentation, E — Amino acid degradation (Strecker degradation). Stage III: F — Aldol condensation, G — Aldehyde-amine condensation and formation of heterocyclic nitrogen compounds. Recent information adds H to the list which represents freeradical breakdown of Maillard intermediates. These reaction steps are discussed further in the text. Adapted from Hodge (1953) as referenced in Nursten (2005).

CONDITIONS FOR THE MAILLARD REACTION As the Maillard process is a series of chemical transformations, factors that influence a chemical reaction also affect the Maillard reaction. The rates of chemical reactions depend primarily on temperature, pressure, time and concentration of reactants. Maillard reaction products increase with increasing temperature, with longer heating time and at pH values above 7.0. The relative moisture content is also important, and metal ions such as copper and iron have been noted as stimulating the reaction. As temperature is a key condition for the Maillard reaction further details are presented in Table 1. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

Some similar products to Maillard compounds are produced during the caramelization process, but we note here that caramelization reactions, unlike Maillard reactions, require the input only of sugars not amino acids. The topic of caramelization could form the basis of a paper of its own and we only point out here that, at higher temperatures (see Table 1), caramelization can interfere or

TA B L E 1



< 55°C (130°F)

Days, months, years (e.g., products stored on the shelf).

55-100°C (130-212°F)

Water, high protein concentration. High sugar concentration and alkaline conditions — pH above 7.0 — reaction over hours or days.

100-150°C (212-300°F)

Hours when close to the boiling point (BPt.) of water.

150-165°C (300-330°F)

Fast — browning in mins. The “sweet spot” for Maillard.

165-200°C (330-400°F)

Increase in caramelization (sugar only reactions) — Maillard inhibited. Sugars interacting with amino acids limited!

200+°C (400+°F)

Caramelization and burning.




H 4










H 1












FIGURE 2 — Many sugars, many amino acids lead to thousands of Maillard compounds. compete with Maillard reactions. Finally, with respect to pH it is noted that the amount of reactive amino acids increases with pH and this leads to an enhanced Maillard reaction sequence at higher pH values. However, when Maillard reactions then occur the result is a lowering of the pH — the pH drops by formation of acids (through sugar degradation) and by the production of basic heterocyclic compounds (discussed below).

THE MAILLARD REACTION IN DETAIL A brief discussion of the overall Maillard scheme now follows. See Figure 1 for the general outline and key to individual steps, stages and sub-reactions and the simple schematic in Figure 2 showing the starting point of the cascade. As noted in the introduction, the Maillard reactions are initiated by the condensation (the joining together with the loss of water) of a carbonyl group of a reducing sugar and an amino compound. Depending upon the raw material source there are many sugars available to react and 19 common amino acids plus one imino acid (proline) present which may lead to hundreds if not thousands of chemical components in the initial phase (Stage 1 — see Figure 1) of the Maillard chemistry. For example, the reaction of glucose with the simplest amino acid glycine alone can yield 24 different compounds! Some sugar chemistry:

Aldose — a monosaccharide (simple sugar) with an aldehyde chemical group (-CH=O).

Ketose — a monosaccharide (simple sugar) containing a ketone group (C=O). Reducing sugar — sugars with a free aldehyde or free ketone group can act as a reducing agent and are thus called reducing sugars. Some amino/imino acid chemistry:

Amino acid — an organic compound — building blocks of proteins and important in other biological reactions, 100 

containing amine (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups and a side chain (R-group) specific to each one. If the amine group is replaced by a -C-NH group, the compound is designated as an imino acid. There are 19 common amino acids and one common imino acid — proline with a cyclic rather than linear structure. In proline, the nitrogen is “locked up” in the ring hence only one hydrogen is directly attached to the nitrogen. Following the initial condensation step, a series of complex degradations, rearrangements and other reactions lead to the generation of many compounds which influence both the color and flavor of foods and beverages. The additional reactions lead to many important classes of flavor compounds including aldehydes and heterocyclic molecules including furans, pyrazines, pyrroles, oxazoles, thiophenes, thiazoles and other heterocyclic compounds. These components and the process in simplified form are discussed below. The sugar amine condensation reactions lead to relatively unstable glycosylamines (sugar-amine compounds) which then undergo a reaction known as an Amadori rearrangement. Amadori rearrangements are acid or base catalyzed isomerizations or rearrangement reactions of the N-glycoside of an aldose or the glycosylamine to the corresponding 1-amino-1-deoxy-2-ketose. Amadori reactions, which can occur spontaneously at a temperature as low as 25°C, are generally considered irreversible. Sometimes the term Heyns rearrangement will be seen in the literature and this refers to a situation whereby ketoses are rearranged to the corresponding 2-amino-2-deoxyaldoses (in place of the ketoses). These reactions and many more are described in exquisite detail by Nursten (2005). The Amadori and the Heyns rearrangement products (ARPs and HRPs) are regarded as important intermediates of the early phase of the Maillard reaction. Aminoketones can react with each other to form various cyclic compounds called pyrazines (more on this later) characterized by potent flavor notes and which may be responsible for harsh and burnt flavor notes. Amadori and Heyns reaction products (ARPs and HRPs) are, on one hand, regarded as relatively stable intermediates and have been detected in various heat-processed foods. That said, at higher pH values, ARPs and HRPs easily undergo cleavage of the carbohydrate chain, yielding fission products such as 2,3-butanedione (diacetyl), acids, WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

aldehydes and many other components; ARPs and HRPs are thus good precursors for Strecker aldehyde formation. Such is the complexity of sugar fragmentation! Of importance to this discussion is the plethora of compounds that are produced in the intermediate stage of the Maillard scheme. See Figure 1, where sugar dehydration (Symbol C), sugar fragmentation (D) and amino acid (Strecker) degradation reactions (E) are portrayed. The amino ketoses, through the removal of three molecules of water, may pass through an intermediate called a Schiff base to produce the compounds furfural (caramel, sweet and nutty nuances) and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) through an amino compound and further water molecule elimination. Sugars can also be converted to furfural and HMF via other routes. Note: these two compounds are also thus produced during caramelization. Sugars and, through sugar dehydration reactions, amino ketones can form reducing compounds known as reductones, which themselves can reversibly interconvert to dehydroreductones via hydrogen addition or elimination. Reductones are products formed from the loss of two molecules of water, unlike when three waters are removed which leads to the furfurals (as noted above). Also in the intermediate stage (or stage 2), the well-known Strecker degradation reactions occur. Strecker degradation is primarily a major pathway for the conversion of amino acids into structurally related aldehydes of significant flavor value. The amino acids are degraded by dicarbonyl compounds, also formed in the Maillard reaction, leading to deamination (amino group removal) and decarboxylation (CO2 elimination) of the amino acid. Aldehydes








amino acid Strecker reaction


PYRROLES cereal-like nutty

ACYLPYRIDINES cracker-like cereal

FURANS meaty burnt caramel-like

ALKYLPYRIDINES bitter burnt astringent




heterocyclization Pyridines Pyrazines Oxazoles



Aldehydes + aminoketones


THIOPHENES meaty roasted

PYRANONES maple-like vanillin-like warm, spicy fruity, jam-like



NH3 H2S Furanones Pyranones Pyrroles Thiophenes

FURANONES sweet caramel burnt

(and this also applies to ketones) are produced with one less carbon atom than they started with. The amino group is transferred to the other reacting species in the reaction. Strecker aldehyde flavor notes will be discussed in more detail in part two. Note also in Figure 1 that the dehydroreductones may also undergo Strecker degradation to produce the corresponding aldehydes. Now for coloration and flavor production we move to the more interesting final stage (stage 3) of the Maillard scheme (reactions F and G). Fission products, furfural and HMF, dehydroreductones and aldehydes, through aldol condensation reactions (F), result in aldols and nitrogen-free polymers; these reactions represent a very large and complex area of chemistry (again see Nursten (2005) for more detail). An aldol is an abbreviation for an aldehyde and an alcohol — an organic compound containing an alcohol and a carbonyl group, especially a compound known as a beta-hydroxy aldehyde. Moreover, by aldol condensation of two sugar fragments, or a sugar fragment and an amino acid fragment, heterocyclic aroma compounds are generated upon cyclization, dehydration and/or oxidation reactions. See Figure 3 and associated discussion for more on heterocyclic chemistry. Aldehyde-amine condensation reactions and formation of heterocyclic nitrogen compounds are illustrated in the reactions marked G in Figure 1 (see also Figure 3). The very final products of non-enzymatic browning are complex high-molecular-weight brown nitrogen-containing polymers and copolymers known as melanoidins to distinguish them from the melanins produced by enzymatic browning. Unfortunately, the dark brown melanoidins

Thiazoles Pyrroles Imidazoles


N N PYRAZINES cooked roasted toasted

PYRROLES cereal-like nutty

N OXAZOLES green nutty sweet



IMIDAZOLES chocolate nutty bitter

FIGURE 3 — A simplified schematic of the processes involved in the formation of heterocyclic compounds via Maillard chemistry. 101



have proven difficult to isolate, characterize and identify based on their overall complexity. To summarize to this point, a cascade of reactions produce a vast pool of compounds. These arise from early product rearrangements and then degradation, elimination, cyclization, dehydration (loss of water), fission (splitting) and fragmentation reactions. These many reactions all lead to a multitude of flavor and color compounds. To conclude this section on chemistry, and in preparation for part two of this article, we finish with a consideration of Figure 3. This figure shows the coverage of an interesting series of heterocyclic compounds which play a key role in beer and distilled spirits flavor. Simply defined, heterocyclic compounds are ring-like structures which contain atoms other than carbon in the ring; oxygen, nitrogen and sulfurs primarily being present in such molecules. Through reductone and dehydroreductone chemistry, and their resultant product interactions with ammonia NH3 and hydrogen sulfide H2S, the heterocyclic compounds furanones (oxygen in the ring), pyranones (oxygen), pyrroles (nitrogen) and thiophenes (sulfur) are produced. The basic structures and general flavor notes associated with these compounds can also be seen in Figure 3 and will be presented again in more detailed fashion in Part 2. More significantly, each of these base heterocycles can have many different chemical substituents attached, thus vastly increasing the total number of possible compounds and potential flavor nuances detected in foods and beverages. Figure 3 also shows a few more details of the Strecker degradation reaction scheme. Interactions of aldehydes and aminoketones with a compound called acetoin can lead to formation of pyrazines (dual nitrogen atom ring heterocycles), pyridines (nitrogen), oxazoles (oxygen), imidazoles (dual nitrogens in the ring) and thiazoles (sulfur). Once again, we note that base (simple skeleton forms) and more complex substituted heterocycles are formed. Furans (five membered oxygen-containing ring heterocycles) are also illustrated in Figure 3. They arise from rearranged sugars. Again, note the main flavor characteristics for each type of heterocycle from this part of the scheme. These will also be discussed further in part 2 in relation to distilled spirits production. In the second of this pair of articles we will tie together all this Maillard chemistry and show where and when in distilled spirits production relevant color and flavor components are generated, and the significance of Maillard chemistry on alcohol yields, spirit flavor production, spent grain production and much more.

Gary Spedding, Ph.D. is a brewing analytical chemist/sensory specialist and managing owner of Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC. The team also includes Amber Weygandt, B.Sc. lead chemist, Matthew Linske, B.Sc. lead microbiologist, and Philip Gennette, B.Sc. analytical technician. For more information visit www.alcbevtesting.com or call (859) 278-2533.

REFERENCES Corporate Office West Coast North Northwest Canada British Columbia Pleasantville, NY Windsor, CA Geneva, NY McMinnville, OR Montreal, QC Kelowna, BC


Nursten, H. (2005). The Maillard Reaction: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Implications. The Royal Society of Chemistry. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

Classically-Informed Distillation WRITTEN BY CHRIS LOZIER


Jan Collaert I, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

istilling is an ancient practice, and even though new equipment, technologies, and techniques have made the process more efficient, efficiency isn’t the only consideration. For a few, using classical, traditional, old world equipment and techniques is the best way to achieve the flavors and aromas they desire.

Dan Farber at Osocalis Distillery in Soquel, California, and Adam Spiegel of Sonoma County Distilling Company in Rohnert Park, California, are in that latter group, and both have garnered wide acclaim for their spirits. Farber only makes brandy, and Spiegel only makes whiskey, but their techniques and equipment are very similar, and firmly rooted in tradition.

Brandy Dan Farber of Osocalis Distillery says he didn’t get into distilling just for distillation’s sake — instead he saw great potential for turning California-grown fruit into world-class brandies. That’s why he traveled to Europe and studied distillation in places like Cognac and Alsace, where he gained a deep understanding of why specific methods and equipment are used in those great brandy regions. With that knowledge, Farber bought equipment to suit the spirits he wanted to make, and he runs several direct-fired WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

alambic pot stills at Osocalis. Farber says direct-fired alambic stills are the go-to stills — sometimes legally required — in traditional brandy regions where the spirits are aged in wood, and he believes directfire distillation is essential for creating the depth and character he desires. “We use very classical instruments because those instruments have been, over the centuries, sort of designed and refined to produce spirits of a certain character that are well-suited for longterm aging,” tells Farber. Farber says distillers have been experimenting for centuries, and out of those experiments came the equipment and methods that were deemed to be superior. But for him, it wasn’t just important to learn what equipment and techniques are used to make great brandy, but why they are used. He says there’s a difference between simply copying those traditional techniques and actually comprehending why they are important.

There’s a difference between simply copying traditional techniques and actually comprehending why they are important. “If you know what you’re trying to capture and why, then you can make small permutations off those very well understood methodologies that have been developed over the centuries to produce a product that’s both unique in character, but really with the same quality factors that have been known for centuries for achieving great aged brandies,” he explains. That’s where the California fruit comes in. To borrow some wine terminology, a person might say Farber combines “Old World”


European distillation techniques with “New World” American fruit. But while the fruits Farber and crew grow in their vineyards and orchards may be different than traditional European brandy fruits, he is trying to produce fruit with the same quality factors. They just have to do things a little differently depending on their soil and climate contributions. “We don’t do 100 percent of everything by the book in either Armagnac or Cognac, but that’s because our fruit here is slightly different from theirs, so we have to accommodate some small changes in our distillation practices,” he explains. “But they’re all based on a working knowledge of why these traditional pieces of equipment and traditional approaches to distilled spirits production are there.”

Whiskey Much like his friend Dan Farber, Adam Spiegel of Sonoma County Distilling also focuses on one product category — whiskey — and he also uses direct-fired alambic stills. “What you’re seeking and what you’re trying to grab as much as possible is high esters, good viscosity, nice mouthfeel, fullyrounded whiskeys, and traditional pot stills give you that, because you don’t over-purify the spirit,” tells Spiegel. “You’re going for maximum flavor extraction over maximum alcohol, and there’s a lot that goes on in the head of a pot still that gives you the unique flavors that are a signature of your distillery.” In addition to the alambic stills’ head and neck design, Spiegel says those direct-fired stills are capable of producing complex, layered characteristics thanks to their ability to caramelize remaining solids left post-fermentation. Part of that flavor development comes from their traditional fermentation techniques. Sonoma County practices open-top, grain-in fermentation, letting the wash soak up the flavors from the grain. Then they separate the grains from the wash and distill it. “You still end up getting a little bit of residual solids in there, so using heat was an intentional choice, because I love that sort of unique caramelization that occurs on the bottom of a still, that’s something that you really cannot replicate any other way but with fire,” says Spiegel. “But in a lot of people’s’ eyes, it also adds a little bit of inconsistency in terms of the flavor. We keep the burn very minimized, always keeping a watchful eye out for overcaramelization.” While Sonoma County had some burnt mashes (they use directfired mash tuns, as well) and burnt stills in their early days, Spiegel says that after seven years their techniques are dialed in. Now they can coax out the caramelization notes they want and avoid overages they do not. In the future, Spiegel says they may purchase a steam-powered still as they expand, but the plan is to keep the traditional pot stills. While some of their whiskeys will still be made on the direct-fired alambics, Spiegel says it’s very difficult to scale a direct-fire still to larger batches. Even so, the pot still he wants to buy is made in Scotland, so just as Farber looked to Europe for traditional brandy expertise, Spiegel looks to Scotland for tested whiskey expertise.



“There are only two distilleries in Scotland, I believe, that still use fire, and the rest of them have become steam powered,” he explains. “At a certain level you just have to consider that as an option.” Aside from distillation, Spiegel says their open-top fermentations are also inspired by traditional whiskey production. Rather than adopting a sanitary closed-top brewing model for their fermentations, Sonoma County lets the natural yeasts in their building contribute their own signatures to the whiskey. Spiegel says that while distillers who want to make consistent products may not like this technique, he’s a fan of having flavor variability as long as it is intentional and controlled. In the same vein, they also never boil their mash. “We don’t want to make any of the sugars unfermentable,” tells Spiegel. “When we’re cooking our mashes, we’re not trying to make a clean, sterile, universal product, we’re trying to make each batch slightly unique from one to the other.” Spiegel says he and Farber use similar proofing and blending techniques, as well. Both distillers proof their spirits down from barrel to bottle strength gradually, and both have water resting in barrels that they can use for reduction. “We make our fortified water blend by taking a fully-aged whiskey, proofing it down to a much, much lower level, then barreling it again,” Spiegel explains. “You can use that water to proof down the same type of whiskey from barrel strength to bottle strength. This is a very old, kind of Cognac mindset, but what that does is it gives you a much easier way of actually integrating the water into the spirit to proof it down. It doesn’t shock the spirit as much. We have some water resting for two plus years, but usually blend in much younger water.”

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Looking to the Past for the Future When choosing their techniques and equipment, it’s important for distillers to remember how rich and long the history of distillation is, and understand that traditional, trusted techniques have been accepted because they work so well. “You can’t really improve very much on these techniques which have been iterated on and studied and improved over the centuries,” explains Farber. “Those techniques have arisen from centuries of experimentation and they come about because that style is highly appreciated and those techniques are the best techniques by which we can achieve that.” But adopting those classic techniques doesn’t trap the distiller in the past. Instead, by leveraging that long history of experimentation and understanding, Farber believes the possibilities for innovation can actually be increased. “I do think that there’s a huge potential to sort of build on a lot of these classical methods and apply them to our fruits and grains and other things to produce products that are in that same family and of that same quality, and still have a unique regional character,” says Farber. “The more we understand about why these products are the way they are, and have evolved that way over the centuries, the better and easier it is for us to sort of understand how the products that we make differ subtly, and importantly.”

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ellurium is the 52nd element on the periodic table, between antimony and iodine. While pure Tellurium is rare on Earth, the element is often found attached to gold and other precious metals signaling their abundance. Tellurides are what the prospectors were searching for when a vast gold strike was discovered in the San Juan Mountains of Southern Colorado in the late 1800s. That “Gold Rush” formed the town of Telluride, and lasted until the mine shut down in the 1950s. Then, in 1972 a different natural substance was used to rebuild the once-bustling mining town — snow. Over the last half century, the area went from mining precious metals to carving perfect powder at a ski resort. It’s that sort of entrepreneurialism that makes the town of Telluride so compelling and unique.




Now, residents are using their skills to find new things to mine, and one of them is Abbott Smith of Telluride Distilling Company. Using the latest in technology, he has taken the ancient art of distilling into the 21st century to create liquid silver and gold in the form of vodka and whiskey. According to town records, it is Telluride’s first legal distillery. Like many residents of modern Telluride, Smith came to Colorado in 2007 as a ski bum. Armed with a business degree from the University of Wisconsin, he had also dabbled in homebrewing and winemaking while in college, a hobby that developed into distilling over the last decade. Although a skier at heart (he used to complete in freeskiing competitions in his youth), opening a distillery was a long term goal. Along with two friends also from Wisconsin, Pete and James Jaeschke, Smith and his wife Joanna Grenawalt, a Colorado native, run this small operation. Grenawalt’s education also comes in handy. “She has both molecular biology and biochemistry [degrees],” he says. “She’s responsible for lab analysis and defining yeast propagation.” Together they developed the yeast used in the spirits. While Smith’s preferred spirit is whiskey, whiskey is not always a practical choice when starting a distillery because of the time needed for aging. That is why Telluride Distilling’s main spirit is vodka, which Smith calls “delicious and universal.” Smith mostly designed his still himself with some help from an engineering firm based in Wisconsin. He completely built the still purchasing materials from the U.S. and China, and it took about a year



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from design to completion. It’s a three-column still using fractional distillation calculated for efficiency and consistency of the product. While column stills for vodka production are common, Smith says his process is a bit unique because he relies totally on mathematics. Using temperature algorithms, he has 36 temperature inputs and outputs to time the cuts of his vodka. “Humans can be unreliable,” he laughs. Using this process is so fast and efficient that it takes Telluride Distilling only 16 hours to distill 1,000 gallons of vodka, which yields 125 gallons. Smith says with this much efficiency he can produce what many connoisseurs would consider a premium vodka on par with respected international brands, but for a $20 price point instead of $30-40. To convert the still to whiskey production, he “detunes” it down to 80 percent by removing 15-20 of the reflux plates. Smith released his first batch of 412 bottles of whiskey last summer, which promptly sold out. Smith can also run this apparatus from an app on his smart phone. “I use a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) that runs on a web-based interface so I can log into my IP [address] and run the still from wherever,” he says. However, he doesn’t just run the machine randomly. As head coach of the U.S. Junior Freeskiing Team, Smith recently spent three weeks in Europe for the sport’s world championships. He says he would never run the machine from thousands of miles away. “I like to be close to the still when I run it,” he says. “The webbased interface is primarily out of convenience.” While the process is high tech, the ingredients are simple. Smith uses organic pure cane sugar and snowmelt water that flows from the surrounding mountains, creating a vodka with a smooth oily texture and a clean finish. For the whiskey, he uses 100 percent malted barley and ages the spirit in American white oak barrels. In keeping with the distillery’s motto of “Drawing inspiration from the miners who built this town,” the goal is to create the crisp, clean spirits that the miners of Telluride would have enjoyed over 100 years ago. Along with vodka and whiskey, Telluride Distilling also produces a peppermint schnapps called Chairlift Warmer. Smith plans on having batch two of Telluride Whiskey ready for sale this summer. He says they have ideas for other products, such as canning their house-made ginger beer which they use in the tasting room. “We’ve talked about canning our ginger beer, but haven’t had time to figure it out,” he explains. “Canning is a different process and you have to order thousands of cans in advance. We don’t have the storage.” He says they have a two-year plan to move to a larger facility, but in the meantime he and his partners keep the distillery busy handling the existing demand for Telluride Vodka. They recently installed a new automated bottling system that handles eight bottles a minute. Before that, Smith was using a small bottling device that he, of course, built himself.

Telluride Distilling Company is located in Telluride, CO. For more information visit www.telluridedistilling.com or call (970) 239-6053. 108 






ome craft whiskey distillers have reached out into the world of grain that is beyond raw corn or malted barley. Borrowing from the brewing world, they are using specialty malts such as chocolate, caramel, or Munich. Fueled by a desire to innovate, and a blossoming craft malting industry, other distillers have dove deeper entering into a world of largely unknown malts and grains, like oats, buckwheat, and quinoa. In Bethel, New York, Catskill Distilling Company is crafting a buckwheat spirit, using 80 percent buckwheat and aging it in new charred oak barrels. Catskill’s Pietro Bortolotti said the product cannot be called whiskey, because buckwheat is not a grain (it’s a pseudocereal), but the spirit is one that appeals to malt whiskey drinkers in particular.


“The result, for us, was very interesting and appealing,” shares Bortolotti. “It’s a very uniquely flavored distilled spirit,” leaning toward the character of Scotch or Irish whiskeys. “The earthiness of the buckwheat is transported into the product. Scotch drinkers, 90 percent of them, they love it. Bourbon drinkers, they consider it too dry, a little on the raw side.” Bortolotti says they are currently experimenting with blending the buckwheat spirit into whiskeys, an approach which he says is is yielding “a superior product.” “The buckwheat is adding wings to the spirit. It’s exceptional,” Bortolotti says. “It is a magic moment when the correct percentage overcomes the individual products. It is interesting to be able to do this sort of experimentation. We came across some magic


transformation.” It’s not an easy product to get into barrels, though. Buckwheat is a difficult raw material to work with — very gummy and difficult to pump — especially with the more flavorful smaller kernels. “The small one is even worse,” explains Bortolotti. “It doesn’t work with our continuous still. We have to strip in our pot still. Pumps get clogged, pipes get clogged. We understand why people don’t want to distill buckwheat.” In addition, the raw materials cost about five times more per pound, and yield less sugar per pound, than other grains. “It’s very expensive compared to other grains. The impact on raw material cost is kind of outrageous,” says Bortolotti. Nonetheless, the market is there. Catskill Distilling has exported to Europe and Japan, where buckwheat, as the foundation of soba noodles, is steeped in tradition.

SMOKE Darek Bell, owner and distiller at Corsair Distillery, is on a continuing quest to break from tradition. To that end, Corsair has built its own malthouse and malt smoker, and the crew has smoked malt with a huge variety of different fuels. Bell even wrote a book about their endeavors in smoke called “Fire Water: Experimental Smoked Whiskeys.” “The distilling world is much more traditional and more conservative,” shares Bell. “We wanted to make sure we did very different, very unique things. With ‘Fire Water,’ the main question I was asking was, ‘If we were starting all over again, making a smoked whiskey, would we use peat, or would we use something else?’ Of the fruit woods, pear was my favorite; it has a great nose. Maple was my


favorite on the palate.” Bell says the range of options that were available prompted the experimentation, as well as a conversation with a German taster who said that the traditional rauchmalz — German beechwood smoked malt — seemed to lose it’s potency by the time it arrived in the United States. “We were frustrated that we could not get many types of smoked malt,” Bell said. “We began to look at it as an ingredient, that you have to keep it fresh,” and to get the freshest ingredient Corsair started doing it themselves. When they created Triple Smoke Whiskey — using cherrywood-, peat-, and beech-smoked malt — they were working to create a product with nuance. With a well-blended whiskey, Bell says, “You create more complexity. It’s not random. The different experiments have all been great, and it broadens our understanding. When we do something like a nine-grain bourbon, it brings together all that we learned from those.” Those experiments, many documented in his first book, “Alt Whiskeys,” have also included green (unkilned) malt, amaranth (“kinda funky, unusual”), buckwheat (“has almost a peanut and pistachio nuttiness to it”), and quinoa. The last, Bell says, is “nutty, earthy, slightly bitter, very unusual. We just keep coming back to that one as being a great example of how the grain can impact the spirit.” Oats also have a lot to offer craft distillers. “Oats have a long tradition in beer, why not whiskey?” asks Bell. “It definitely has a much richer, thicker mouthfeel, the way that an oatmeal stout is like a milkshake. We found that some of that Honey Nut Cheerios character came through on distillation. It has


more oils in it, and we found that affects the length of the finish.”

COLORADO MALT Jason and Josh Cody work on the supply side at Colorado Malting Co. They’re smoking malt with peat, beech, and cottonwood, and malting unique grains, pseudo-grains, and seeds. They’ve supplied malted sunflowers to brewers, including New Belgium and Pizza Port; they got into roasting blue corn so they could supply Balcones Distilling in the early days; and their red proso millet has been a hit among distillers around the world. “It has a way of softening a young whiskey,” Jason says. Josh adds, “The interest in these grains has slowly but steadily increased. We’ve exported pallets to the UK, to Japan. Our brand has gone really big because we’re able to do these things that no one else can do. As far as I know, we malt more millet than anyone.” Millet is still a small part of their business, and with 78 different products, the Codys have their hands in all sorts of things. They supply single-variety malted barley, a Centennial soft white wheat and a variety of rye unique to the area. “If anything has made us famous, it’s our rye,” explains Josh. Jason agreed that it’s become a highly respected part of their ensemble: “It’s an heirloom variety that’s been here as long as there’s been people in the San Luis Valley. The valley just has its own variety. Law’s (Whiskey House) has been all over it.” In addition, they’ve entered a partnership with Viking Malt in Finland, sourcing a traditional pot-still malt they call “enzyme malt,” a high-


enzyme variety of two-row barley. Colorado Malting had a roaster built for them so that they can offer Munich and caramel/ crystal malts, and the Codys swear by the fresher taste, comparing it to freshly ground coffee. “It didn’t sit on a barge, it didn’t sit in a warehouse,” Josh says. “I’ve delivered bags that sometimes are still warm.” They’re even offering a small roaster to the craft industries under their Malt Tech LLC business, so that distillers and brewers can prepare their own malt. “There’s no way to get a fresher product into your whiskey,” Josh adds. The Codys are doing a lot of different things, but one of the biggest is to offer craft producers ways to differentiate themselves. “People can buy malt from a hundred places,” Josh says. “They come to us because it’s connected to the farm. I think there’s more awareness as the craft beer and craft distilling industries have grown. We think there’s a future there.” While they get more publicity from craft brewers, they sell more malt to distillers. One distiller, Spirit Hound, uses their peatsmoked malt, and Colorado Malting adjusted their process and their smoke level to meet the distillery’s needs. “Those guys are a big part of our success,” says Josh. “They’re doing the same thing that we’re doing. We’re learning as we grow, and we’re growing together. The people who believe in that and stay with us are the ones that last. There are a lot of true believers in the distilling world.”

Gabe Toth is a distiller and former craft brewer with a passion for fermenting and transforming ingredients, which also extends to sausage and meat curing, cheese making, and pickling. He can be reached at gabetoth@hotmail.com.



Craft distilling in Phnom Penh, Cambodia W R I T T E N A N D P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y M A R G A R E T T WAT E R B U R Y


raft distilling might not be the first thing you think of when you imagine Cambodia, but Antonio Lopez de Haro and his business partner Daniel Pacheco want to change your mind. These Venezuelan ex-pats, drawn to Cambodia’s thriving economy and increasingly cosmopolitan feel, launched Cambodia’s first rum distillery in the Tonle Bassac neighborhood of Phnom Penh in 2014. And they laid the groundwork for their business, like so many craft distillers do, over a good drink. “One night, we were drinking a bottle of imported premium rum,” says Antonio, “and we realized that Cambodia, with such an abundance of top-quality sugarcane and molasses, was not producing its own rum. We were shocked. So we decided to embark on a mission to create Cambodia’s first rum distillery and brand.” Tucked away down a residential alley lined with bougainvillea


and blooming hibiscus, Samai Distillery isn’t easy to find, but once you arrive, there’s no mistaking it: This is a crew that takes their drinks seriously. Pass through the gates, and you’re in a hip, stylish tasting room furnished in dark wood. Past the bar, a curvaceous copper pot still gleams in the courtyard. One stiff drink, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked through a portal from the bustling streets of Phnom Penh to one of Los Angeles’s hippest bars. Samai launched just in time to ride the wave of Cambodia’s booming economy. After difficult times during the latter half of the 20th century, Cambodia now has one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, and the nation is a beacon for international investment and entrepreneurship—which, in turn, has lifted a generation of Cambodians firmly into the middle class. While WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM



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cocktails are a relatively new addition to Cambodia, Khmer cuisine is undergoing a renaissance, and the Khmer people have a renewed sense of excitement and pride in the quality of their agricultural products and culinary traditions. Even Samai’s name comes from that forward-thinking ethos: In Khmer, the language spoken in Cambodia, samai means “modern.” It’s not the first distillery in Cambodia—like much of Southeast Asia, Cambodia has a long tradition of distilling rice spirits—but it’s the first commercial distillery that aligns itself explicitly with the craft movement. Inspired by the rich rum traditions of their homeland, Antonio and Daniel decided to build their business on pot still rum from Cambodian molasses. They commissioned a custom handmade still from a team of Portuguese artisans, based on a traditional alembic design from the 1800s. “Using a pot still lets us keep most of the aromas and tastes from the raw materials,” explains Antonio, “which gives the rums more personality and more interesting characteristics.” Antonio and Daniel didn’t have a background in distillation, so they were careful to hire a solid team with technical experience, including their production manager and master distiller Darachampich Moang. They were also committed to making products that capture the unique qualities of Cambodia’s culinary and agricultural traditions. “We are a Cambodian brand, and we want the Khmer people to feel proud of this Cambodian rum,” says Antonio. “So we source the best quality raw materials that we can.” One hundred percent of the materials used to make Samai’s spirits are sourced from within Cambodia, including the molasses, which comes from a sugar plantation in southern Cambodia. A less efficient refining process means much of Cambodia’s molasses is very high in fermentable sugars, resulting in a strong yield. A dedicated, climate-controlled room allows Samai to have a longer, cooler fermentation time than most other rum producers. Mashes typically reach 10 percent ABV. Samai’s still is located in the partially-outdoor courtyard at the back of their building. The copper pot still is direct-fired and equipped with a rectifying lentil, a sort of primitive reflux condenser, which enables them to distill to a higher proof than a typical pot still. Despite that relatively high distillation proof, high concentrations of non-fermentable solids in the molasses produce a distillate with robust character. After distillation, the spirit is proofed down to 65 percent ABV before barreling. “For us, 65 percent seems to be the optimum level for a harmonic relationship between the alcohol and the oak,” says Antonio. “If the percentage is too high, we take more of the bitterness from the wood. If it is too low, we aren’t able to get all the desired aromas and flavors.” All of Samai’s rums are barrel aged using a combination of French and American oak casks for initial maturation, followed by a finishing rest in Spanish sherry casks. And, thanks to South Asia’s uniformly warm climate, their rums—much like the whiskies produced at Kavalan in Taiwan and Amrut in India—develop remarkable maturity after relatively short barrel aging times. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

Bottled at 80 proof, these are robust, flavorful rums reminiscent of the British-style rums of the Caribbean. During our visit, we tasted Samai’s gold rum. Richly colored, with integrated oak and a mellow flavor, you’d never guess that it had spent just over a year in casks. A limited edition rum aged in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks picked up tons of dried fruit and leather, as well as an almost inky mahogany pigmentation. In late 2016, Samai released a new addition to their product line: a rum infused with Kampot pepper, the Champagne of peppercorns. It sold out within six weeks, and a new release is slated for Spring 2017. “Kampot pepper is one of the most aromatic and delicious peppers in the world, and it is strictly a Cambodian product,” explains Antonio. Only the province of Kampot (pronounce “cahmpo”) in southern Cambodia can lay claim to producing the Kampot pepper, desired around the world—especially in France—for its remarkably pungent, aromatic flavor. “We work exclusively with La Plantation,” says Antonio, “which is one of the biggest and most advanced Kampot pepper farms. The pepper makes a rum that is fresh and spicy, with a long, sweet finish giving hints of guava and eucalyptus. It’s really amazing.” Although the craft cocktail movement is in its infancy in Cambodia, the trend is growing. Phnom Penh, the largest city in the country, is home to a handful of bars and restaurants serving craft cocktails, as well as one craft-spirit-focused liquor store. Samai’s distillery and tasting room has quickly become one of the city’s most happening event spaces. On Thursday nights, Samai transforms its tasting room into a bar, inviting guest bartenders to make craft cocktails with a uniquely Cambodian twist. Regular special events like concerts, tastings, and parties bring in a heady mix of tourists, expats, and young Khmer excited by the chance to taste a homegrown spirit. Samai, like the country it calls home, is growing fast. It was recently named a “Rum Brand to Watch” by The Spirits Business, an international spirits website, which also reported that Samai had lined up between $550,000 and $700,000 in investment by the end of 2016. The company is starting to eye expansion to other international markets, especially within Asia. Antonio and Daniel are about to place an order for a new, larger column still that will allow Samai to ramp up production. And they’ve begun searching for additional investors to help provide the financing they need to get to the next level. Outside Samai’s walls, motos whizz down the main drag, cargo racks laden with cases of bottled water and bundles of watercress and cilantro. Furniture stores roll up their doors, letting the warm, humid air flow into their dusty workshops. Kids in crisp uniforms hustle off to school, lunchboxes in hand. Tourists amble down the sidewalk. And Antonio fires up his still. There’s so much to do, but Phnom Penh’s contagious energy makes it easy to feel like anything is possible.



Corporate Office West Coast North Northwest Canada British Columbia Pleasantville, NY Windsor, CA Geneva, NY McMinnville, OR Montreal, QC Kelowna, BC

Samai Distillery is located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Visit www.samaidistillery.com for more information.






nconsistent product can be a problem for a small distillery. Problems with small batch sizes, inadequate standards, and more can all cause significant issues with quality and consistency. For a new or small distillery, this can be a nightmare of an explanation to a customer. Consumers are lost when products cannot be trusted to remain the same with every purchase. To combat issues with quality and consistency, an excellent quality management program is needed. Bigger distilleriesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; quality management programs include expensive laboratory equipment and tests at each stage of the distilling process, but this is not always feasible for a smaller distillery. Luckily, other steps can be taken to deflect inconsistencies, so for a smaller distillery, a good quality management program involves equal parts quality assurance and quality control. Quality assurance (QA) is preventative as well as process-oriented. Quality control (QC) is reactive and revolves around product release. QC is identifying and solving problems while QA is preventing problems from occurring. Both of the elements of quality management involve developing good processes, good production documentation, welltrained employees, and expansive sensory analysis programs.



DEVELOPING GOOD PROCESSES Developing good processes is both preventative and reactive. Doing adequate research and being prepared will help prevent many problems before they occur. Knowing that enzymes are only active in a certain temperature range and implementing a mashing regime that reflects that knowledge will prevent problems such as poor yield, filtering or lautering issues, or fermentability issues. If there was an unexpected low yield during mashing and it was determined that the cause was a poor utilization of enzymes, then a new process would emerge to fix the problem. Once processes are developed they need to be well-written and easy to follow. Someone with little to no experience should be able to discern the written methodology. Lastly, a troubleshooting guide should be included. This will help ensure that any problems that occur are handled appropriately. Many problems pop up at a distillery and it is important that they are handled the same by all employees. Good processes are needed at multiple steps of the distilling process. This includes, but is not limited to, mashing, fermentation tracking, distillation, blending, barrelling, proofing, filtering, and bottling. The more consistently all processes are carried out, the more likely that finished product will also be consistent. If each step of a process is controlled, a controllable product is reachable.

GOOD PRODUCTION DOCUMENTATION Distilling is a blend of art and science, and data must be recorded and analyzed. Due to the heavy regulation necessary to operate a distillery, many documentation steps are already considered a necessity. Yields, waste, finished product, and more must all be well documented to be in compliance with federal regulations. However, the documentation should be broader and should help the small distillery with more than just staying within compliance. Following good processes eliminates some documentation, but there will always be the need to write things down. For example, the pH of mashing can be used as a simple tool to combat inconsistencies. Logging the pH data can show a number of different trends such as watershed issues or clogged filters. Having this data allows for the problem to be noticed and fixed. Anything that is abnormal should be documented and tracked throughout the many stages of the distillation process. For example, if a ferment is potentially infected (smells different, different yeast behavior), this should be noted and

tracked. Some infections will affect the flavor of the distillate and it should be isolated. Proper documentation can aid good processes in keeping that dissimilar distillate separate. Good documentation allows for potential defects to be more easily detected and traced. Good documentation can also be preventative. If a mistake has been made in the past, it is less likely to be repeated if there is irrefutable evidence. Do not rely on memory to serve correctly when it comes to isolated problems. The repetitive nature of distilling makes it difficult to recall problems with perfect clarity.

EXTENSIVE EMPLOYEE TRAINING PROGRAM Developing good processes and documenting production problems are definitely important, but they are not as important as having a well-trained employee. Another key element to quality management is an in-depth training program. Employees must be up-to-date in all current processes. They must know the importance of following processes correctly, documentation, and how to properly troubleshoot. Many small distilleries have equally small distilling teams. Sometimes, a team will include only one person, which makes a training program very simple. However, if that is not the case, then an extensive employee training program is a necessity to implement a quality management program. Most elements of a training program will be routine for every member of the distilling team, but training programs should meet individual needs. Training should emphasize that distilling is fast-paced and the correct decisions need to be made in order to solidify consistency. Small distilleries will not have a separate QA or QC department; both elements are absorbed by production. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why it is important for all personnel to be trained well and trained to the same degree. There are so many steps to be able to run a distillery floor that it is a necessity to allow adequate time before employees are fully trained. One of the most important elements of a training program and most time intensive is sensory analysis.





SENSORY ANALYSIS PROGRAM By its very nature, sensory analysis is centered on product and product development. A rigorous sensory analysis program is the key to QC. Initial training should focus on what smells or tastes normal and what does not. Determining the cause of the abnormality will come with time and experience. Sensory training on grain intake is based on solely smell. Does the grain smell


normal? Does it smell moldy? What does it smell like? Sensory training on mashing and fermentation are also based on smell. The general idea is to determine if the processes smell normal or not. This is the most basic form of distillery sensory training. After employees have mastered basic training, they are ready for the complexity of spirits sensory analysis. There are many different aspects of distilling that require sensory analysis training. The most important aspects are separating collections â&#x20AC;&#x201D; white whiskey prior to barrelling and finished whiskey before it is bottled. These stages require discriminatory sensory analysis panels. Panels are very important to a quality management program as they allow statistical reason to make product decisions instead of emotions. Sensory analysis is divided into affective and analytical methods. Affective methods tend to use consumer panels and trained panelists to answer questions. This method is not realistic for a small distillery. Analytical methods can be broken down into either discriminatory or descriptive methods. Discriminatory methods find a difference in samples. Descriptive asks panelists to determine differences in samples. Descriptive tasting panels are more indepth and require a higher level of training and understanding. A tasting panel should include at minimum 10 people for statistically significant results. Distillation collections require training to decipher between heads, hearts, and tails. Fresh off the still, fractions should be collected, proofed, and watered down to 40 percent ABV in a tulip shape glass with room for headspace. Samples should be prepped and covered for 30 minutes to allow congeners to build up in the headspace before starting sensory analysis. Decisions should be made based on preference, as well as with the intention of creating a consistent profile. The same process for sample prep should be followed for whiskey prior to barrelling and finished product. Each element of spirit production should be dissected to help ensure their likeness to a standard spirit.

CONCLUSION Quality Management is the best way to fight inconsistencies and batch-to-batch variation. It is the un-sexy key to success for any distillery that is split into QA (proactive) and QC (reactive) elements. Having good processes and documentation will alleviate problems before they occur. Training programs for distillery employees should anticipate distillery floor issues, as well as prepare employees to make the correct decisions on whatever problems may arise. One of the most important elements of a training program should include sensory analysis. Sensory analysis will help prevent problems, keep problems from spreading, and will help determine if products are quality and consistent.

Molly Troupe earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry before she attended Herriot-Watt Unversity. At HWU, she earned a master's degree in brewing and distilling. Molly has worked as a quality control assistant, distiller, lead distiller, and is currently the production manager and lead distiller at Oregon Spirit Distillers. To contact her, please email molly.troupe34@gmail.com. 118â&#x20AC;




y opinion about control states differs from most: I love them. From a supplier’s perspective they are untapped mines of opportunity, if you are ready with your supply chain and marketing plan. Yes, they can be complicated to enter; yes, they have unique labeling and warehousing issues; and yes, they will mercilessly delist underperforming products. But the myths about high prices, low selection and weak demand are generally untrue. If you plan carefully and are serious about the market, they afford you a quick path to servicing key accounts without full-state distribution, an equal playing field for representation based on the merit of your product, greater customer exposure per shelf space, and detailed feedback to help you optimize your store placement. Since many companies are scared by the prospect of working with control states, competition is arguably lower. My goal for this article is to demystify key aspects of control states so that you may seriously consider adding them to your growth strategy. Everything about our industry’s structure is rooted in the repeal of Prohibition. Control states are the outcome of research funded by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and published in 1933 by Fosdick and WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

Scott: “Toward Liquor Control.” The 21st Amendment didn’t just repeal Prohibition, it expanded the power of individual states to regulate the transport and sale of alcohol, thus removing it from federal jurisdiction over interstate commerce. Each state could now make its own rules and collect its own share of taxes. This allowed states — and their counties — the local option of governing liquor. This was an essential concession given the range of state predilections about Prohibition (the last state to repeal Prohibition was Mississippi in 1966, and many states still have multiple dry counties) and the people’s distrust of both the alcohol industry and government agencies charged with its oversight. In short, the general consensus was that every aspect of the alcohol supply chain should be strictly controlled. The “Authority Plan,” as Fosdick and Scott termed it, was roughly modeled on the statecontrolled monopoly systems of several European countries, where the government would purchase and resell alcohol beverages, thus controlling prices and availability. States picked through the plan to adopt portions they liked while abandoning many of the other suggestions — such as forbidding on-premise sales. Initially, 15


states adopted monopoly systems immediately after Prohibition’s repeal and many of the late repealers (e.g., Mississippi, North Carolina and Alabama) transitioned into state-level control. Today there are 17.5 control states. I half-count Maryland since only the counties of Montgomery, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester are monopoly (except four grandfathered grocery stores in Montgomery) within in an otherwise open state (a wonderfully confusing notion). As time has passed, each control state has evolved its own idiosyncratic structures and most converged onto a hybrid control structure. For spirits, the two constants across all of the control states are: 1) that the state formally controls the wholesale sales tier, though some states have outsourced wholesale operation to contractors (e.g., Maine and North Carolina); and 2) suppliers arrange and pay for shipping to control state warehouses, retaining title to the goods, which contrasts transport laws across license states. While all control states oversee wholesale, they vary considerably in their control of offpremise retail. Strict two-tier monopoly states, such as Pennsylvania, control retail via stateowned liquor stores. However, many people are surprised to realize that most control states have outsourced retail to either agency contractors in whole (e.g., Oregon, Vermont and Montana) or in part (e.g., New Hampshire and Idaho) or have privatized them completely (e.g., Iowa, Michigan, and West Virginia). North Carolina has adopted a unique situation of contracting wholesale and deferring retail to each of its 150-plus counties. Common across all control states is that there are generally fewer outlets to purchase spirits per capita than in license states. However, for suppliers this means that consumers actually have a higher likelihood of seeing their product in a store and products are offered in remote areas where a private, license store would not make sense. Thus control states are able to achieve their mission of protecting the general public via controlled pricing and availability. This does not mean that prices to consumers are automatically higher. New Hampshire, for example, intentionally keeps prices and taxes low in order to be competitive. For suppliers, there are two paths to market in a control state: special liquor order (SLO) and listing. All states, with the exception of Maine, offer suppliers a fast-path to servicing consumers via SLO. Once registered with the state — in an expedited process — then any retailer, on-premise account or consumer can order the product. This is an often under-utilized mechanism for supporting key accounts, establishing a sales footprint in key markets and demonstrating demand for your product. When an order is placed the supplier receives a purchase order from the state, based on pricing and minimums established during the expedited registration, and the supplier fulfills the order out of their stock. Therefore, with SLO the

state does not hold stock of the product. Montana actually offers a second tier of SLO, demand requiring, of holding stock in their facility but not fully listing the product for retail. The second path to market is via the state listing process, whereby product is held in state inventory and offered for off-theshelf sale in the state’s liquor stores. This seems to be the grail for emerging brands; for example, to be in all 600-plus Pennsylvania liquor stores. But I’m telling you that is one of the biggest mistakes we see people make. I’ll get to the process of listing shortly, but let me first talk about how control state retailers operate. Control states must balance protecting the state’s populous with supporting state revenue through sales. As a result, and despite rumors to the contrary, distribution of alcohol in most control states is very carefully managed and efficiently run. All decisions for placement are based on a calculation of profitability per square inch of shelf space. Therefore, all brands that maintain sales have equal opportunity regardless of the size of the parent company. The potential downside is that brands must maintain sales volumes in order to maintain shelf space. This is ruthlessly calculated by states — either annually or semi-annually — by ranking all products by sales performance within their category or by evaluating performance against predetermined thresholds; under-performers are delisted. Products earmarked for delisting can occasionally receive a single extension, but once delisted it is nearly impossible to get them listed a second time. Carefully managing your marketing and rollout to control state retailers is the key to long-term success. The best way to manage your sales in control states is to proactively manage the retail outlets that offer your products. Most control states allow the supplier to specify preferred retail locations. Pennsylvania, for example, categorizes its stores into five tiers based on sales demographics. This, coupled with specification of retail outlets in certain regions or cities, allows the supplier to place their product in a subset of stores that will help them maximize their sales. The sales footprint can expand over time, but it’s very hard to pull it back. A limited rollout — as opposed to statewide placement — gives brands a better chance to hit sales targets and show repeated value to the state, thus avoiding delisting. It also has the advantage of conserving cash flow, as nearly all control states warehouse on a bailment system, whereby the supplier holds title to product while in the state’s wholesale inventory, pays for the state’s warehousing, and is paid only when the product ships to the retail store. Shipping product to a state and paying for warehouse storage and handling fees starts to get expensive if product is not moving. Most control states have listing cycles two or four times a year when their alcohol control board will evaluate new products (a few states are monthly: New Hampshire, Mississippi, Michigan,

















State Private


Have scheduled periodic listings (2x a year). Send out packet and what need to know: new item worksheet, brand specs. If after review may invite you to review. Requires formal presentation to the board.



State Agency Contract


7 meetings for "quick list" process for new products. Presentation is not required.









Listings occur year-round. In-person presentation not required; everything now done through vendor portal.









Monthly listing. Formal presentation is not required.






County Controlled


Listing Meeting takes place on the 2nd Tuesday every other month. Requires formal presentation to the board.




County Stock





Monthly listing; presentation is not required.









Monthly listing; presentation is not required.







Agency Private


Regular listing considerations 2x per year; presentation not required.





New Hampshire


State Agency


Year-round; presentation is required.





North Carolina


State - Local Boards


2x year; presentation required.













State Stock



Maryland/ Montgomery Country

County controlled

Past - Yes Future - Uncertain Currently, revamping their procedures

(state form)





Past - Yes Future - Possibly quarterly, currently revamping their procedures.





5x year; presentation required.






2x year; presentation required.






Anytime; presentation is optional.







4x year; presentation required.







4x year; presentation required.


West Virginia




Anytime during first 6 months of the year; presentation required.





2x year; presentation required,

(state form) (state form)



depending on brand setup



Yes, but via online portal










State Stock





I N F O @ S P I R I T S C O N S U LT I N G .C O M

2 1 2 .2 92 .8 1 93



Maine and Iowa). Nearly all states require the preparation of a new product proposal that includes an overview of the product, your in-state marketing plans, analysis of your product’s category trends, data from sales in other control states (if available), and a few states require an explicit exit strategy if the product fails to meet thresholds. Although there is a growing trend toward online registrations, most states still require an in-person presentation (5-15 minutes), if invited, to move forward. To conduct business with the state, supplier companies are required to obtain outof-state shippers licenses and brand registration (part of the listing process), and about a third of the states require that the supplier have an in-state broker to represent the brand. The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) is the national association representing control states and provides many resources to potential suppliers. The two most important to suppliers are their standard price quotation form and control state codes. All control states work on a fixed markup strategy that includes their state excise taxes. While the markups and taxes vary by state, most have adopted a standardized price quotation form (with occasional minor modifications) that makes pricing transparent. All control states also require specialized case labeling with state-specific case codes in order to track product through their supply chain. About half of the control states use a control state code (CSC) that is issued by NABCA, while the remainder issue their own code upon confirmation of listing. The placement on each case is consistent across states, but the required final printed size varies. A few states require container labeling for various things such as bottle deposit (e.g., Iowa and Maine). Although the nuances and requirements for each state are beyond the scope of these articles, I hope that this brief introduction guides you through the major issues of working with control states. Success in control states requires managing the relationship and clear marketing and rollout plans. But if these efforts are undertaken, then control states can be immensely lucrative markets. I think that most people avoid control states because these issues appear to be a barrier to entry and suppliers fail to realize that the alcohol boards of control states are willing to provide data and collaboration. To many suppliers, it certainly feels harder than just finding a distributor and letting them worry about in-state sales. But in reality that doesn’t really work for most. So why not invest some upfront research and effort into a more equitable market and then proactively manage your business in the same way you would in an open state?

R. Scott Winters, Ph.D. is founder of The American Spirits Exchange. For more information, visit www.AmericanSpiritsLtd.com or email Scott@AmericanSpiritsLtd.com. REFERENCES Mendelsohn, R. From Demon to Darling: A Legal History of Wine in America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. www.nabca.org Thank you to the alcohol control board of each of the control states for providing up-to-date information.





HOW TO LEAD A TASTING Tastings cost time and money, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting a return. Of all your marketing and brand-building tools, a well-performed tasting can be one of the most powerful. But a poorly-led tasting might be the first and last time a consumer engages with your product and your brand. Tastings are highly variable affairs, from short “shot and trot” samples at expos and liquor stores, to hour-long sessions at conferences or in your distillery’s tasting room. Audiences range from category first-time drinkers to enthusiasts to trade groups to media. Getting that return on your investment requires designing and executing a tasting experience which communicates your brand product messages and matches the venue, audience, and timing. Tracking the return requires identifying your desired outcomes and establishing performance indicators and metrics.



A tasting is an opportunity to communicate your brand and product messages, combined with a sensory experience of your product, directly to an audience. While the design of brand and product messages are beyond the scope of this article, keep this in mind: Your product message is incomplete without a flavor message. If you (or your rep) don’t have a clear product flavor message — that is, if you aren’t able to clearly articulate the flavor of your product — then you can’t lead a tasting. You will just be handing people shots and hoping for the best. A comprehensive flavor message encompasses nose/aromatics, mouthfeel, front palate, mid palate and finish. It should serve to position and differentiate your product within its category — or jump category, if that’s appropriate. It might touch on production, offer consumption suggestions or use a sensory metaphor or reference. A full flavor message can be quite long, but short ones — or just a list of flavor notes — can work in certain instances, too.

CONSIDER THESE EXAMPLES FOR FICTITIOUS SPIRITS: YE OLD KY BOURBON: Our low-corn, high-rye recipe brings a bold, spicy character to the traditional sweet style of bourbon whiskey. Silky and rich on the tongue with a touch of heat on the finish, Ye Old KY Bourbon has a complex flavor profile with caramel and vanilla up front, oak and tobacco smoke in the middle and a host of spices including clove, nutmeg and black pepper on the long, lingering finish. Perfect neat, rocks or as the base for bourbon or rye cocktails like the old fashioned and manhattan.

DEEP WOOD WILD PINE GIN: Our gin is infused exclusively with wild-harvest botanicals from mid-altitude old-growth forests in the Rocky Mountains. In addition to the traditional juniper berries, we add 13 botanicals including freshly-harvested pine needles, making our gin intense on the nose and the palate. Deep Wood Wild Pine Gin is bursting with layered flavors from herbaceous thyme and mint to the light, sweet floral notes of prickly rose and red clover. It’s sure to please any gin lover.

COPPER KETTLE MOLASSES RUM: Our 100% molasses rum is cooked and fermented using the traditional copper kettle method and barrelaged for at least 6 months. The result is a slight sweet, slightly tangy spirit that’s easy to drink straight, as a cocktail or with a splash of your favorite sparkling beverage.

BRANDI’S 6-FRUIT BRANDY: By combining juice from six different fruits, our brandy has easily detectable grape, tart apple, pineapple and citrus flavors making it the most complex brandy we’ve ever tried.




guidance. Participants toward the top of that list will require more general category information, will need precise instructions on how to nose and taste, and will benefit from visual aids and other accessories. Further down, participants will want more brandspecific and technical information.

Here are some common tasting outcome goals:

»»Bottle sales in your gift shop or at the liquor store. »»Sign-ups for your e-newsletter, and social media follows. »»Merchandise sales. »»Distributor sign-ons. »»New account activations. »»Cocktail menu placements. »»Earned media. »»Brand awareness.

Time can be anywhere from less than a minute to over an hour, and it may be precisely fixed or last as long as your audience is interested. If you have the audience’s undivided attention, it’s a formal tasting. If you’re competing for your audience’s attention, it’s an informal tasting.

That last item — brand awareness — is the most common justification for having a tasting. You have to get the word out, and while it is potentially measurable, it doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. Brand enthusiasm is better, but it is even more difficult to measure. So even if brand awareness is a component, it’s best to have additional specific and measurable goals.

VARIABLES AND TASTING TYPES Three factors — venue, audience and time — ultimately determine the design and the potential goals for your tasting. (In addition to limitations imposed by local laws, of course.)

Venues are usually your distillery, a seminar room, an expo hall, a liquor store or a bar or restaurant. The Audience likely consists of one of these groups:

»»Recently legal drinking age and party groups. »»Category novices. »»Category enthusiasts. »»Trade: distributors, retail owners (on- and off-premise), liquor store employees, bartenders.

»»Media: from bloggers to major media. Different audience types need different information and

In a formal tasting you can define the parameters, pour more products and incorporate tasting accessories more easily. Formal tastings should always be sit-down and have all of the pours set when the audience enters the room. In informal tastings, the number of products and tasting accessories should be kept to a minimum.

TASTING CONSIDERATIONS Each component of a tasting has impact. A tasting mat is a great place for your logo, tasting notes and social media prompts. The most photographed and shared component of the Maker’s Mark distillery tour is the formal tasting at the end — which contains the brand name in seven places and each product name is clearly identifiable on the tasting mat, even on a small phone screen. Glassware is preferable over plastic, but it is expensive. If you use plastic sample cups, ensure they are large enough to observe color, swirl and nose. Scented products — including candles, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, fabric softener and body care products — all have a negative impact on your tasting by covering up or competing with the aromas and flavors of your product. A tasting guide is equal parts entertainer and teacher. One note here: ensure all your tasting guides are well versed in your brand and product messages and are clear about the goals and objectives for each tasting. Bear in mind that it’s unlikely your distributor will do more than hand out shots, so dedicated or contract brand reps are critical to long-term growth. And whenever possible, rehearse the tasting. Remember, it’s a performance!

Three generations of raising premium grains for distilleries of all sizes. BRETT GLICK 124 






distillinggrains.com WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

LEADING A TASTING Always start by gathering the group’s attention. This can range from asking, “Are you ready to taste?” to a complex reinforcement of your brand message. Speak clearly and slowly — speaking just slow enough that it feels awkward to you is the right speed. Explain that you will be guiding the tasting and that participants should wait to sip until instructed. If possible, have water available and suggest participants partake of it as needed. Proceed through the samples in turn. Name each product at least twice. Lift the bottle (and your sample, if you are participating). Unless you’re dealing with sophisticated tasters like spirits judges, suggest nosing in through the mouth and out through the nose, at least to start. This minimizes the risk of alcohol burn to the olfactory senses. If your samples are large enough — at least 0.5 ounce — execute the triple sip technique:

»»Tell participants to space out the sample across three sips, and with each sip roll the spirit over the whole tongue before swallowing.

»»First sip: It will burn, and that’s OK — don’t talk about flavor.

»»Second sip: The spirit will be gentler and some flavors will start to come through.

»»List a few and ask if anyone notices other notes. »»Third sip + finish: Here the spirit should be at its most flavorful. Some folks will never get past the burn, and that’s OK. (They’re not likely to be customers or brand enthusiasts.) Even if you think your spirit is exceptionally smooth, try the triple sip method. Most consumers aren’t used to sampling highproof spirits the way you are. Proceed through each spirit in turn and conclude strongly. You should get a round of applause at a

formal tasting, and thank-yous and some follow-up comments and questions at informal tastings.

HOW NOT TO LEAD A TASTING The worst thing you can do is hand someone a sample and say, “What do you think?” You’re ceding control to the audience! Out of the politeness, you’ll likely get a vague positive response (“It’s good”) so you might feel successful when it’s quite the opposite. Remember, the tasting is an opportunity to impress on the taster what you want them to think and remember about your product. If you don’t have anything better to say, just say, “Here you go! This is —” and name your product. Don’t say, “How old do you think this is?” and then surprise reveal that it’s younger than they say. That tactic can be off-putting by making the taster look foolish. Never correct, contradict or challenge your audience. Everybody’s palate is different. If they can’t taste anything, that’s OK, too — it takes time and practice to develop the ability to taste nuanced flavors in high-proof spirits.

CONFIRMING VALUE Let’s look at the basic evaluations of success. How many people did you talk to? How many sampled your product? How many signed up for your e-newsletter or followed you on social media? How many bottles or how much merchandise did you sell? On the account side, count contacts made that could convert into activations, cocktail menu placements, in-account tastings, spirit dinners, earned media, etc. with proper follow-up. Tastings are a cornerstone of a distillery’s marketing, but to be fully utilized foundation work is needed: Clarifying brand identity and messaging; designing experiences considering venue, audience and time; training staff; preparing tasting components; guiding the audience through the experience; and finally capturing the return. It’s time to stop handing out shots and to start generating business value.

Tim Knittel is a bourbon educator, writer and event specialist in Lexington, Kentucky. He formerly managed the culinary and VIP hospitality programs for the Woodford Reserve Distillery. He now runs Distilled Living which provides private bourbon education, brand representation and distillery consulting services. He holds the title Executive Bourbon Steward through the Distilled Spirits Epicenter.

LOGGERHEAD DECO, INC. 1640 LA DAWN DR. PORTAGE, WI 53901 630.206.3747 www.loggerheaddeco.com info@loggerheaddeco.com WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  





A generation ago,

the spirits industry benefitted from a home bar craze. Although the age of do-it-yourself cocktails is seeing a revival, the origins of the American home bar is tied to the country’s patriotic western expansion, world wars, abrupt increases (and decreases) in national wealth and prosperity, fashion trends and politics. However subtle they might be, these influences reverberate throughout the contemporary cocktail scene. The cocktail hour originated in London’s 1920s literary circles, but post-war America perfected the tradition. At the cocktail hour’s center was the home bar whose golden age began in the 1940s and persisted into the early 1970s.


“There is a sacredness to the time when the work-day ends and the evening begins that ought to be observed with a civilized ritual.” — Bernard DeVoto 1948, The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto

Proliferation of these centers of home drinking rituals are seen in popular culture of the era—from vinyl records to cookbooks, and from bar accessories to literature. In 1948 Bernard DeVoto wrote “The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto.” “There is a sacredness to the time when the work-day ends and the evening begins that ought to be observed with a civilized ritual,” the book began. James Beard capitalized on the cocktail party craze. In New York, Beard’s catering business, Hors d’Oeuvre, Inc., led to his first cookbook. DeVoto and Beard, names familiar to the historian and gourmand, were associated with cocktail culture and the growing popularity of home imbibing. The “civilized ritual” soon became synonymous with the cocktail party, which itself became known as the cocktail hour. The ritual occurred at home and flourished in mid-century America, but it was not the first time Americans drank at home. Drinking at home dates back to Colonial America where women drank at home, mostly hard cider. Men drank (rum) at taverns sometimes owned and operated by women. After the American Revolution as the nation expanded westward, whiskey became the spirit of choice. Surplus grain was distilled in the Ohio River Valley, and as whiskey flowed down the Mississippi into the expanding nation in the early 1800s, so did drinking. An eager and thirsty clientele spurred the proliferation of bars and new types of drinks,


both of which expanded the role of the bartender. By the late-1800s, bartending was a profession with trade publications, guides, recipe books, and patents for their specialized tools and equipment. Bar accoutrements and drink preparation were ritualized at the hotel bar or downtown saloon, not in the homes of amateurs. With growing emphasis on a new genre of mixed drinks called cocktails, American cocktail culture began and imbibers whet their palates at drinking establishments, rather than at home. Prohibition would change this. Prohibition gave the modern home bar movement its first push. Speakeasies cropped up in the wealthier homes of cosmopolitan Americans. These home bars of the 1920s were usually in basements and hidden behind partitions. When the decade ended with the financial crash, Americans found themselves in the nation’s worst economic depression. The 1930s began with continued economic woes, scarcity, and high unemployment. Ironically, these sobering factors hastened the end of Prohibition. Growing public resentment and increasing crime led to the need for job creation and revenue-boosting tax generation, all of which sealed the deal. The 21st Amendment ending Prohibition went into effect in December 1933, but not before President Franklin Roosevelt, in keeping a campaign promise, encouraged Congress to pass the Beer-Wine Revenue Act. As Prohibition wound down and World War II had yet to begin, public drinking rituals continued. The end of Prohibition marked the return of working-class saloons and beer parlors. The migratory workforce of seasonal wage-earners worked their way through the logging and mining camps of the West, surviving the off-season in single-residency occupancy hotels. It was part lifestyle, part occupation — a byproduct of urbanization and industrialization at the turn of the century that is and was often characterized as a subculture of hobos. Downtown saloons and beer parlors functioned like homes, providing comradery, meals, and a continuity of drinking rituals. Once the U.S. entered the second World War, this demographic of men were among the first to enlist and be drafted. While these men sailed, parachuted, tramped and fought across the European and Pacific theaters, those at home continued the cocktail tradition. James Beard published cookbooks while DeVoto observed an evolving culture of adult beverages. After the war, “a strange new world of wives, babies, and jobs awaited,” wrote historian Todd DePastino in Citizen Hobo. What also awaited these GIs was home ownership. After the war, the GI Bill created the largest percentage of American homeowners in its history, providing the “home bar” a home. Prior to the war many Americans could not afford a home, but after the war the national economy prospered. Unparalleled economic security was enjoyed by many average Americans. By way of the GI Bill, the postwar boom provided over $16 billion in low-interest loans for homes, farms, and businesses. Forty years earlier, when Americans trotted to their local bar for a mixed drink, less than half of them owned homes, but by mid-century America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, two in three Americans were WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

homeowners. Seventy-five percent of homebuilding occurred in new suburbs. High land prices and crowding in the cities, combined with expanded car ownership and a developing freeway system, meant that as suburban neighborhoods grew rapidly, bars and drinking establishments remained in the city. The suburban boom fueled the rise of home bars and cocktail culture flourished. Fifty million babies were born between 1945 and 1960. Families found themselves at home with children and socializing with neighbors like themselves. Television provided a new form of babysitting, and rather than travelling to the city for a night of on-the-town drinking, parents gathered around the home bar. Entertaining tips, recipes, and furnishings covered the pages of magazines. Glamourous cocktail fashions of 1920s and ‘30s Hollywood, along with the ubiquitous Christian Dior cocktail dress of the late 1940s, were advertised in fashion magazines, boosting sales of special attire for the cocktail hour. The man of the house had a choice of magazines, as well. New magazines such as Handyman and Popular Mechanics were filled with home improvement projects—the Pinterest of its day—with one popular project being the home bar. “Driving nails is work — no doubt about it. But it’s also the kind of clean, thumping exercise a man can enjoy,” wrote Popular Mechanics in 1956. “There’s s m a c k i n g satisfaction in belting a shiny tenpenny into stout 2x4 studding…. Hammers up, men.” Magazines contained plans to finish basements into rumpus rooms with built-in bars. Everyone from folks in the suburbs to presidents were enjoying happy hour. Herbert Hoover praised cocktail hours as, “the pauses between the errors and trials of the day and hopes of the night.” President Eisenhower enjoyed a scotch at the end of his workday,


sometimes two. The Kennedys celebrated DTO—Daiquiri Time Out. JFK sipped one at home while watching election returns in 1960. Cocktail culture evolved along with the home bar in the 1960s and ‘70s. The Tiki craze promoted potent rum drinks, rye gave way to milder Canadian blended whiskey, and vodka made its first appearing in average American homes. Barware grew fancier as well, as designers such as Georges Briard and Dorothy Thorpe embellished cocktail glassware and bar tools—the ritual objects of a new American tradition. The popularity of the home bar began to wane in the 1970s. A new generation preferred cocktail lounges and discos in the city. The quality of drinks suffered as well, with carefully crafted classics like the old fashioned and gimlet replaced by high-fructose-syrup-infused concoctions. However, their drinking-age children are enthusiastically bringing back the home imbibing tradition. Today there is a renaissance of the home bar movement—think man cave or the millennial hipster’s bar cart. You need not look far for proof of its revival. Google search “making a home bar” and you will get over a million hits. Look at furniture and home décor displays, from Target to Restoration Hardware, and see the array of bars and accessories. So how can the spirits industry, specifically the artisanal distillery, capitalize on this movement like a generation past? Coaching customers on developing not only their home bars but their knowledge of spirits, their palates, and mixology skills are good places to start. Distillery tasting rooms provide an ideal setting for customers to deepen their knowledge of your unique spirits and assist in the development of their



1) Foundation — The bar can be as minimalistic as a tray or as lavish as a wet bar.

2) Glassware — Ninety percent of all classic cocktails are served in coupes or rocks/double old fashioned glasses.

3) Tools — Mixing equipment is a must to combine spirits, modifiers, and mixers.

4) Accoutrement — Bars need some pizazz — elements that reflect style and personality. Pictures or mirrors provide a backdrop and containers class-up your garnishes. Add some kitsch or swank.

5) Artisanal spirits — At the heart of the home bar is the liquor. Begin your recommendations with your distillery’s distinctive spirits. Then make a list of the ways people enjoy them and the classic or craft cocktails that cannot be made without them. palates. Narrated tours of the production area satiate customer curiosity and benefit from historical storytelling that includes the history of the distillation processes and how those processes work. Highlight your methods and provide context for differences in distillation. Consider partnering or collaborating with a knowledgeable bartender to co-teach the art of mixing drinks. Like narrated tours, mixology classes benefit from storytelling because people always want to know the story behind the cocktails. Stories also convey how mixology connects to the romanticized past and exposes the bigger picture of liquor’s unique place in American history and culture. Close contact with customers enables you to share your company’s mission while building relationships with a core group of loyal customers. When customers want to know how to create their at-home drinking space, help them visualize their home bars and provide a few tips. Seize this opportunity to connect with customers and tap into the renewed and growing interest in cocktails, locally-made spirits, and the home bar. Cheers!

Renee Cebula is a cocktail historian. She is the owner and curator of Raising the Bar: Vintage & Badass Barware. FB: Raising the Bar Northwest, Insta/Twitter: badassbarware, raisingthebarbarware.com. 128 


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Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2017  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2017  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.