Saturday, February 5, 2011

Distill America: Get in the SPIRIT to celebrate.

It was not that many years ago that American made distilled spirits were not very easy to come by. Oh sure, the legendary Bourbon producers down in Kentucky were cranking out whiskey by the barrel full. Beyond that though the pickins were pretty slim.

Fast forward to today when there are nine liquor companies right here in Wisconsin. They make a variety of wonderful spirits, something to please every palate. From whiskey, to rum, to honey liqueur, to apple brandy, to absinthe, to horseradish vodka, and the list goes on and on and on.

This is not just a Wisconsin trend. It is happening all over the country with new distilleries popping up like weeds. Take Vermont Spirits for example, they are from Vermont (surprise) and make a vodka based in maple syrup. Take Rogue Distilling from Oregon, long known for making interesting and innovative beers now they make a whiskey that is aged in barrels in the Pacific Ocean.

It is not hard to see how this movement parallels the craft beer movement that today is experiencing a golden age. If you looked at the United States in 1980 you would have been hard pressed to find beer that was not made by one of the giant macro producers. Today we know that a beer drinker could go a whole year and never drink the same beer twice. That same thing is beginning to happen with spirits.

Trying all the different spirits can be a bit more daunting than try a bunch of different beers though. Spirits tend to be more expensive and they certainly have more kick. Also people tend to find their favorite when it comes to liquor and they are less likely to change unlike the adventurous world of craft beer buyers.

Well...that is where Distill America: A Celebration of American Distilling comes in. The Madison Malt Society has put together a tasting event that is held every February that brings together all the best spirits the good ol' USA has to offer. With close to 40 tables there is bound to be a treat there that you enjoy. Many of the tables are manned by the distillers themselves to give you a real chance to ask questions and find out what it is that you love so much.

This years tasting is at the Edgewater Hotel on February 17th. Tickets can be purchased at Star Liquor, Barriques locations around Madison, The Malt House and Merchant.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to attend this wonderful event.

If you want more info check out