“It’s good for us,” said distiller Joe Biggs, who oversees the company’s organic and kosher certifications. “Our numberone commitment is quality. That starts with quality ingredients and quality processes. Being organic and kosher, our ingredients and processes are scrutinized all the time so we have to be on our game” — JOE BIGGS, Journeyman Distillery kosher, our ingredients and processes are scrutinized all the time so we have to be on our game.” For Journeyman, kosher certification was an extension of certifying organic, but for others the idea was suggested. Barrios says a Jewish employee requested Laws become kosher. A similar situation happened at Mississippi River. “I’m not Jewish,” Burchett noted. However, “we were approached by one of our distributors in New York City. We sell our product in New York City and Chicago, and even here in our own backyard, we have a Jewish community. It’s no different than if you are gluten intolerant and a product is labeled as gluten free, that’s important to you.” While it’s not easy to track sales in terms of kosher, all the distilleries use it in their marketing.“It’s at the forefront,” Biggs said. “It’s always mentioned in anything we release that we are kosher and organic. There aren’t a bunch of kosher distillers or organic distillers and there are fewer still doing both. I think that separates us.” “It’s a natural, easy thing for us to do and to continue to draw attention to,” Burchett said. “We’re accountable for what’s in every bottle. It’s following the chain of ingredients from the beginning to the final product.” For the orthodox community, Sonat says drinking kosher spirits is important.“In Judaism alcohol is used as a form of celebration,” she said. “There are many Jewish holidays in which you are supposed to drink. Obviously, not in excess, but enjoyment is something to be respected and drinking is a part of that. Alcohol is a part of life in many respects.” “It’s respect for other cultures and as a company we are always looking to be better,” Barrios said. “Following the strict standards for kosher we feel helps us make a better quality product.” Biggs said “it goes hand in hand with [Journeyman's] commitment to producing excellent spirits. Certifications make our spirits more inclusive. I’d hate for someone not to be able to have our spirits. As the guy who makes it, I want everyone to try it.”
Carrie Dow is a freelance writer and Local Editor of DrinkDenver.com based in Colorado. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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