This is a good time to be a lover of the almighty spirits. There is so much going on both locally, nationally and worldwide, it is really hard to keep up. I’ve actually quit trying, and instead i’m just letting the art that is bourbon, whiskey, vodka and tequila just flow over me. Sorry gin, I just can’t bring you back.
Like I said, there is plenty of great things happening locally in the distiller world. Hopefully, you’ve caught a few of our pieces on some of the great spirits coming out of our region. And now we all have a chance to really let the country and the world know about it.
My colleagues at USA Today have just announced a new Top10 Readers poll. They are on a mission to find the best craft and small-batch spirits producers – family-owned distilleries, grain-to-glass operations or distillers using only the best local ingredients in their products.
They even recruited a panel of craft spirits experts including bartenders, spirits journalists and judges, one of whom is our town’s Derek Gamlin, of Sub-Zero and Gamlin House fame, to help them come up with 20 distilleries in each of the following categories: whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, tequila and specialty spirits.
For us locally, we want to spread the word that we have 5 local distilleries represented, 1 on the whiskey list and 4 on the vodka list. Please show our local crafters your support by voting early and often. Voting lasts through September 12.
Vote for Your Favorite Craft Whiskey Distillery!
While American whiskey might be most closely associated with Tennessee and Kentucky, the spirit is distilled and bottled throughout the country using a wide variety of grains. There are many types of American whiskey – bourbon, rye and Tennessee to name a few – made from a combination of old-world and new-school techniques.
Among the 20, we have one local entry. David Weglarz and StilL630. We need to get the word out and stuff the ballot box. Here is the link to Vote: Best Craft Whiskey Distillery. And once you do, make sure you share your vote on social media to get your friends to vote too.
Vote for Your Favorite Craft Vodka Distillery!
Vodka dates back as early as the eighth or ninth centuries, when it was being distilled in Russia and Poland. Since then, it has become one of the world’s most popular spirits, with distilleries competing for the smoothest, clearest and oftentimes most flavorless rendition.
Not so anymore. Modern American craft distilleries have begun to recognize the spirit’s potential by making it with high-quality ingredients (not just potatoes either) and minimal distillation, allowing the natural flavors to shine through. Flavor differences are still subtle, making variations in texture and mouth-feel equally important.
Our area is well represented here folks, with 20% of the nominees from this region.
- Mastermind Vodka from Pontoon Beach, Illinois
Pinckney Bend Distillery from New Haven, Missouri
Square One Brewery and Distillery in Lafayette Square in St. Louis
St. Louis Distillery from St. Louis