The Craft Spirits market hit a milestone in April 2016 with the opening of the one-thousandth distillery in the United States. The industry has come a long way since prohibition and, similar to the beer industry, is being driven by the demand for small, local, independently produced products. The rate of new Distilleries receiving their permits to produce is a little more than one per day. The water is warm and many folks are jumping in, and at this rate 2,000 distilleries could be reached in the next five years. Every State in the Union has at least one distillery, and most have many.
The spirit category that dominants the industry is whiskey. For the Whiskey enthusiasts, like myself, there has never been a better time, to be of age, and able to sample the variety that is now hitting the market. The industry has matured, as has the whiskey. Many of the longer established producers now have well aged whiskeys on the shelves. Gone are the days of young whiskeys being pushed out, and the surplus of aged whiskey ready to bottle has dried up.
The creativity we are seeing in the industry has also been exciting. When I first started working with the craft distillers, everyone wanted to make a “bourbon” style whiskey, then the “single malts” became popular, followed by the rye rage. Now distillers are looking for their next innovation and many are finding that the use of other specialty malts like caramel, chocolate, and black malt can be used to impart the distinctive flavors they are looking for in their whiskeys.
Here at Briess we are uniquely set up to meet the needs of the craft distiller now and in the future. With the roasting capabilities we can provide those unique specialty malts, which are all 100% produced in the USA, while still being able to provide the traditional distilling ingredients. We continually look to develop new malts. Our caramel rye malt is a perfect example of our latest addition and also featured in this newsletter. We are proud to be a part of this vibrant industry and hope you look to Briess to meet your ingredient needs for your next great whiskey.
Director of Brewing and Distilling
Briess Industries Inc.