While all brewers perfect the art of beer, some take a step further to experiment with other alcohol forms. Last week, we saw the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) diversify into ciders, and this week brings news of craft brewers who took their distilled spirits to the American Distilling Institute. Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Rogue Ales & Spirits and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery all took home medals for their forays into the distilling world.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Ballast Point’s Devil’s Share malt whiskey won “Best in Class” for its whiskey, while Rouge took a silver for its Dead Guy whiskey. Dogfish Head also grabbed a sliver for its Brown Honey rum. Bloomberg said this craft crossover shouldn’t come as a shock, and pointed to writer John Holl’s article in All About Beer:
The wine boom of the 1970s and 1980s led into the craft beer revolution that began in the decades after and continues today. Now artisanal distilleries are gaining momentum. Most beverage entrepreneurs have long been content with running one business, but there are a growing number of breweries — including Rogue Ales, Dogfish Head, Samuel Adams, New Holland and others — that are adding distilling to their operations.
Just north of the Craft Brewing Business office, there has been a growing interest in local distilling thanks in large part to the launch of Cleveland Whiskey, which mirrors the small business entrepreneur spirit of local craft brewers like Great Lakes Brewing Co., the Market Garden Brewery and Distillery and Indigo Imp Brewery.