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GGDs as a group (we ultimately settled on 100 members). Overall, that tribe settled down into a group of people who:

››Share knowledge ››Are professionally vulnerable ››Aren’t necessarily distillers (we needed help from knowledgeable vendors and pros who didn’t have the word distiller in their job title)

››Have each other’s backs ››Enjoy the comradery of being a part

of the shared experience of entrepreneurs, production managers, creative thinkers, and get-shit-done kind of people

And now, after about seven years, the GGDs are still going strong. We still have about 100 members (we remove and add a few every year depending on participation), we have that resource of trusted guidance, and we can rely on each other to know that if there is a question from a GGD someone

else in the GGDs has the correct answer. This year, Johnny and I have been working to lift the impact of the GGDs to outside of our group by sharing more openly, advocating for greater efforts in safety, and by trying to make our little tribe a bigger part of the overall community. To that end, my regular column for Artisan Spirit Magazine is going to be turned over to members of the Good Guy Distillers to write from here on out. Quarterly, you’re going to read about topics near and dear to the GGD writing the article in question. It might be fermentation efficiencies, or running a tasting room, or forklift safety, or something equally relevant and important. The trusted knowledge that these people have been sharing with the small tribe of the GGDs is going to be writ larger for everyone reading this publication. In all walks of life, one finds tribes. They could be Crossfit people, rafting enthusiasts, Saab owners — it doesn’t really matter. Basically, it’s the family you choose to go along with and not the family you’re

born into. In our industry, Johnny J and I decided we needed to start the Good Guy Distillers tribe. In the last seven years the GGDs has been a constant go-to source for me in everything that I do in this industry. As an encouragement, you should consider starting a tribe of your own and leaning on others for help and giving back with what you can. It makes this journey so much more fun. Be on the lookout for upcoming articles and thanks for reading my share of experiences in this industry thus far. Johnny J will be writing the next article and the GGDs will take it from there. If you have questions, ping Brian Christensen at Artisan Spirit (brian@artisanspiritmag.com) and we can see if someone in the GGDs can answer it for you in their article. Cheers.

John McKee and his wife Courtney founded Headframe Spirits in Butte, America. John has only been accused of being a Good Guy once or twice...usually by someone on a raft asking for a beer.

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Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2020  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2020  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

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