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Guidelines Base Selection Standards: › An individual (not a business) › A distiller (active or retired) › Having the fundamental skills in distilling, blending, fermentation, aging, etc. › Recognized as a quality producer › Distillery size is not a consideration (craft or macro) › Distillery ownership is not a requirement Education & Values: › A steward of knowledge who educates passionately › Fosters community › Collaborates › Not a “dick” (aka, no history of shouting people down, pretentiousness, bigotry, sexism, etc.) Innovation: › Willing to push boundaries while still understanding and learning from tradition › Not afraid to learn from failure Advocacy & Leadership: › A leader in legislative or community issues and regulations (state/federal/guilds/associations) › Industry advocacy to customers and others outside the boundary of the distillery › Celebrity status within the distilling industry is not a selection requirement
creative artistry. There are elements of both in everything we do. It’s really the closest anyone can come to making art if you’re only good at math. There isn’t just one clear answer to solve a problem. Plus it feels like there are still tons of things to be discovered, so that keeps me interested. I also feel like this industry operates in a critical place when it comes to American manufacturing and American agriculture and farming practices. These are manufacturing processes that can’t be moved overseas. Our employees at Cascade Hollow are unionized. I’m proud of the types of jobs we provide and the farmers we work with.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work? I ride horses! When I moved to Tennessee, one of my best friends in the industry commented, man, lucky you, you keep seeming to end up in these gorgeous places with
incredible horseback riding. I said, that’s not a coincidence. I compete in Eventing, which is like triathlon for horses. You do three different disciplines in one weekend, and the person with the fewest penalties at the end of the weekend wins. I bought my horse when I was in Ireland. Diageo helped me bring her back when I got this job, and we just had our first proper season competing together last year. We almost qualified for nationals. It’s the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning.
What are your dreams for the future of the American distilling industry? My hope is that we’re very much at a moment of rebirth. Pre-Prohibition, the industry was massively diverse with a lot of different regional identities around the United States. The post-Prohibition era was a time when people were still producing high-quality spirits, but the diversity and excitement of the industry was not present. I feel like that’s coming back, and I’m excited to see what it might look like when it’s restored to its former glory. What are the different regional identities that might emerge? What are the new creative things we can do with whiskey? How can we explore collaborations with other industries, like food and wine? I think we all have an incredible privilege being at this birth moment. All the producers now have a lot of say in terms of what this industry becomes. We can set rules, make groups, and start trends now that could impact this industry for the next 50 or 100 years.
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.