March is a big month for the Distilling Industry. As the last of winter’s chill fades and the country goes through a collective thaw, patrons, vendors, judges and aficionados of craft distilling prepare for the 2014 Annual Spirits Conference and Expo in Seattle, WA. The event will be held from March 31st to April 2ed and is expected to see the attendance of over 1000 people. Over a dozen different workshops will be held throughout the course of the three day event, varying in category, including seminars such as ‘How to write a business plan to start a micro-distillery’ and ‘rum work shop’ an interactive seminar that will introduce participants to the different styles of rum created from sugar cane and its derivatives, such as sugar cane syrup and molasses.
Hurry, some of the workshops are already sold out! Among the registered vendors are American Spirits Exchange, Crafters Glass, Hillbilly Stills, Thousand Oaks Barrels, Pro Refrigeration, Custom Metalcraft and dozens more.
A judging will also be held during the event for participating distillers. A panel of 28 experts in the field of distilling will judge an array of artisan American gins, rums, fruit infusions, brandies, moonshines and whiskies. The panel will perform a blind tasting and determine winners in multiple categories. Now in its eighth year, the judging not only recognizes the best quality distilled spirits in the craft movement, but provides vital feedback via tasting notes from the judges to the distillers to help improve the quality of products.
This year, the 2014 Annual Spirits Conference and Expo will be sponsored in part by the American Distilling Institute. Proclaimed as “The Voice of Craft Distilling”, with access to forums, news, events, blogs and much, the American Distilling Institute has been a go to source of information within the distilling community for over ten years. Founded by Bill Owens, ADI has played host to a verity of undertakings in the past, including workshops, conferences and public events. Located in Seattle Washington, ADI is among the spearheading force of support and vocal recognition behind the notable boom in craft distilling taking place in Washington State.
With prices ranging on membership, general access to ADI starts at $350. For craft distillers producing less than 500 cases, or who are under construction, the price is lowered to $250. A more premium membership is available for $500 and the Presidential Circle Brand Ambassador Membership, which opens up access to every link and resource ADI has to offer, along with books, coat pins and a call from Bill Owens to discuss distillation, wholesalers, retailers and other items dealing with the craft distilling industry. The final cost for Presidential Circle Brand Ambassador Membership will cost members $1000, but with all the perks, the price is well worth it. Of course, to look around ADI’s website and browse their upcoming events and take part in their forums is free to everyone, but to attend their conference, including the 2014 Annual Spirits Conference and Expo, membership is required.
Anyone interested in either the 2014 Annual Spirits Conference and Expo or the American Distilling Institute is strongly advised to check out ADI’s homepage, where information on both can be found, along with other upcoming events, links and contact information.
So let us all raise a custom glass bottle to the end of a winter that’s been too long and ring in spring with a cheer to warmer weather and some awesome events on the horizon, beginning with the 2014 Annual Spirits Conference and Expo.