In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a craft explosion taking place here in the states. And it has absolutely nothing to do with your grandma’s needlepoint projects.
Instead, the past decade or so has seen a boom in craft edibles and drinkables ranging from beer to chocolate. These handcrafted, small-batch offerings are associated with artisan ingredients and a higher quality. They also appeal to consumers’ desire for local products made by real people, not faceless corporations.
One craft area that has skyrocketed in popularity of late is the spirits sector. In 2005, the United States was home to only 50 craft distilleries, according to the American Distilling Institute. That number has since swelled to well over 1,000.
Each of these small distilleries has its own flavors to savor—and stories to tell. That’s good news for those of you who want to shake up your next happy hour event.
Unlike a standard cocktail reception, a distillery experience will give your guests a chance to savor one-of-a-kind spirits. They will also get to meet distillers who are super-excited about their craft and eager to share the science behind the distilling process.
Impress your clients or employees with a unique distillery experience they will remember long after the event is over. Here are six of our favorites.
Named for the good luck charm of General Sam Houston during the victorious battle of San Jacinto, Yellow Rose Distilling pays homage to small batch distillation and the chronicles of Texas’ rich history. After being welcomed with a craft cocktail, guests will tour the distillery while they taste their way through its line of award-winning whiskeys. A post-tour reception includes signature cocktails and appetizers.
Chicago’s first distillery-bar, CH Distillery boasts its own varietals of vodka, gin, white rum, bourbon and limoncello. In small groups, guests will take a distiller-led tour of the distilling equipment, learning about the science behind the process. While they await their turn, the other guests will enjoy signature cocktails and bites while they socialize within the modern lounge.
The hip Greenbar Distillery is L.A.’s first distillery since prohibition. Guests will be welcomed with craft cocktails and appetizers. A spirits expert will then guide the group on a tour of the distillery, showcasing the state-of-the-art equipment and locally grown organic ingredients. Following the tour, the group will taste six of the spirits distilled onsite and then take part in a hands-on mixology class!
Located in the trendy SODO district of Seattle, Westland Distillery is the nation’s largest single-malt whiskey distillery. A private tour guide will lead guests, in groups, through the cask room, major production areas and loft spaces while speaking to the distillery’s history and whiskey varieties. While they await their turn for the tour, guests will engage in a bartender-led educational and interactive single-malt whiskey tasting, sip beer and wine, and nibble on tasty hors d’oeuvres.
San Diego’s first urban distillery, the woman-owned You & Yours Distilling Co. boasts a world-class cocktail program starring its flagship spirits offerings. Guests will be welcomed to the tasting room with a signature cocktail and stationed hors d’oeuvres. They will then take a tour of the production floor and custom still. Following the tour, guests will return to the tasting room for a guided sampling of two of the distillery’s flagship spirits and one of its experimental spirits.
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