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.
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The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.