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  • May 07, 2019 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Texas Monthly 

    When two Austin businessmen—Chad Auler of Savvy Vodka and Clayton Christopher of Sweet Leaf Tea—founded Deep Eddy Vodka in 2010, it’s hard to imagine anyone could have foreseen the maker producing more than a million cases per year within less than a decade.

    Bottling their liquor with unique flavor infusions was the plan from the beginning. The first product to market was (unsurprisingly, given their combined backgrounds) Sweet Tea Vodka, but it’s when they introduced Ruby Red Grapefruit in 2013—a variant now found in seemingly any bar in Texas—that they truly hit the jackpot. Two years later, Auler and Christopher were able to sell Deep Eddy to Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Brands, best known for bourbons like Evan Williams and Elijah Craig, for a reported nearly $400 million.

    The company’s trajectory has only continued upward since then, with an expected production of 1.25 million cases this year. As the brand has grown, so has the number of visitors to Deep Eddy’s Dripping Springs distillery along U.S. Highway 290—about 75,000 last year. To better accommodate those guests, on Saturday a newly expanded tasting room will officially open to the public. Live music, food, and raffle prizes are all planned as part of the grand opening event.

    The bulk of Deep Eddy’s production has moved to Buda, which allowed a former distillery space to be converted into a second, warehouse-sized tasting room that triples the original tasting room’s capacity. The new room’s dominant feature is a long bar, with a second “tasting flight” bar to one side, a custom bottling line just behind it, and a performance stage on the opposite side. Farm tables and banquettes provide seating. The company’s hospitality team expects to increase live music programming, starting with “Sips and Sounds” events on the fourth Sunday of each month.

    Both the old and new rooms will operate Thursdays through Sundays, selling vodka flights and fourteen different made-to-order cocktails. Due to liquor laws, the bar is limited to Deep Eddy Vodka, non-alcoholic mixers, and lower alcohol accents like vermouths and bitters. To soak up the alcohol on site, food trucks are also on the property Saturdays and Sundays. “Guests get pizza delivered here too,” lead distiller Jason Ducharme says with a chuckle. As they are in retail stores, Beacham reports that the brand’s Ruby Red, Original, and Lemon flavors are the most popular choices in the tasting room.

    Ducharme was mum about the next flavor Deep Eddy is planning to add to its product line, though he would say they’re tentatively planning a 2020 launch for it. Meanwhile the new tasting room will host “Flavor Fridays,” during which guests can sample potential candidates—like lime and pineapple—and provide feedback on each. “We have our fruit picked and juiced immediately, then ship frozen 52-gallon drums of juice to the distillery,” Ducharme said of the brand’s unique production challenges as its grow. “Sometimes we have to request an unconventional picking schedule in our order to get the flavors we’re looking for.”

    While the drive between southwest Austin and the Deep Eddy tasting room was relatively restaurant-free just a few years ago, the area’s growth has added to the easy pre- and postgame dining options when visiting the distillery. Of particular note are two restaurants in the Belterra Village development: The Switch (one of Texas Monthly’s recent 25 top barbecue newcomers) and Pieous (pizzeria with excellent pastrami). As with all visits to distillers and brewers, guests should look to designate a driver, or hire a car if the whole party plans on imbibing. Google “Dripping Springs shuttles” or “Dripping Springs party bus” for a number of options.

  • April 09, 2019 9:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Trey Blocker Show

    Whiskey sommelier Jake Clements sits down with us to explain all things whiskey. From a bourbon, to single malts, to corn whiskies, Jake Clements is a trained expert who can make your whiskey more enjoyable.

    Clements paired his love of whiskey with his event planning experience, and launched the Texas Whiskey Festival. He had the idea because of the abundance of whiskey distilleries in Texas. The Texas Whiskey Festival is a one-of-a-kind event for whiskey makers and whiskey lovers in the Lone Star State.

    This year’s festival will be hosted on the set of AMC’s The Son; a re-creation of a Texas Hill Country community typical of the early 1900s! You’ll feel as though you traveled back in time to drink whiskey in an old west town. Make your Good Friday great by attending the Texas Whiskey Festival on April 19th. Learn more at txwhiskeyfest.com.

    More than halfway through the legislative session, Clements has an idea of what bills he’s rooting for in terms of distilleries and event planning.

    What event does Clements have up his sleeve next?


  • April 08, 2019 3:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TDSA is pleased to announce that Ben Milam Whiskey has joined as a Principal Member. Ben Milam Whiskey understands that creating award-winning, limited production whiskey isn’t magic, but it sure tastes like it. Whether it is distilling the finest grain-to-glass Bourbon or world-class whiskey blended from hand-picked barrels, they make whiskeys for you to celebrate everyday accomplishments, and life’s biggest triumphs. The distillery currently offers three products: Ben Milam Single Barrel Bourbon, Ben Milam Barrel Proof Bourbon (limited release) and the Ben Milam Small Batch Rye. Ben Milam Whiskey is distributed statewide in Texas and is available at fine liquor stores, bars and restaurants.

    https://benmilamwhiskey.com/ 

  • April 08, 2019 3:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TDSA is pleased to announce that Persedo Spirits has joined as a Principal Member. Persedo is a technology-based company that provides premium and ultra-premium spirits to the craft distilling industry.

    https://www.persedo.com/ 

  • April 08, 2019 3:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TDSA is excited to announce that Tahwahkaro Distilling Company has joined the family as a Principal Member. Tahwahkaro is a grain to glass small batch distillery that mills grains, cooks, ferments, distills and ages its whiskey in new white oak barrels to produce a uniquely-Texas tasting four grain bourbon whiskey. They are distributed through Republic National Distribution Company.

    https://www.tahwahkaro.com/ 

  • March 20, 2019 8:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Trey Blocker Show 

    In the latest episode of The Trey Blocker Show, we venture out to Hye, Texas and visit with Dan Garrison of Garrison Brothers Distillery- the first legal bourbon distillery in Texas!

    Listen to hear Dan's many stories including how he got $1.9 million dollars in company funding from a card game!


  • March 16, 2019 8:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Telegraph 

    Britain has been hailed as a gin tourism hotspot after distilleries reported seeing huge rises in international visitors.

    The gin market is worth an estimated £1.9 billion with more than 66 million bottles being sold last year - almost double the number in 2016.

    Fuelling this boom is an increase in the number of foreign visitors, who are flocking to the country for tasting sessions, tours of distilleries and even checking into hotels for an "immersive" weekend.

    Other holidaymakers are delving into the history of the alcoholic drink and foraging for ingredients to make their own recipes.

    Gin enthusiasts are flying in for a taste of the traditional tipple at such a rate that distillery guided tours are being offered in multiple foreign languages.

    The Ginstitute, a renowned distillery on the world famous Portobello Road in Notting Hill, has seen their number of bookings jump by a staggering 2,000 per cent since 2015.

    Built over four floors, it offers boutique rooms so tourists can settle down for the night, as well as a museum in its basement where guests can enjoy an "immersive gin history session".

    It even offers bespoke wedding packages "designed especially for betrothed gin-fans", which involves couples making their own unique blend for their big day and a pop-up gin bar so guests can do tasting sessions.

    Tom Coates, brand director, said: "As the world's love for the gin has increased, so has it's interest in the history of gin and how it is made. 

    "As such we have seen a significant increase in international tourists attending our gin experience, The Ginstitute, to learn all about the history of gin and make their very own unique blend. 

    "Since 2015, international visitor numbers have increased 20 times over. 

    "In 2016, we opened The Distillery on Portobello Road Gin which is a four floor mecca for discerning drinkers and gin lovers with two bars, a working distillery, hotel rooms and a number of experiences that include immersive dining, cocktail masterclasses and gin-making classes. 

    "It has been incredibly popular with visitors from both home and abroad, who will either join us for one of our experiences or simply to sample a Portobello Road Gin and tonics at one of The Distillery's two bars."

    Beefeater Gin, one of Britain's best-known brands, has welcomed tourists from countries across the world including Russia and Australia.

    Their distillery, based in Kennington, south east London, is visited by more than 2,000 people every month.

    A spokesperson told The Telegraph: "Our visitors come from all over the world, with the experience being particularly popular with tourists from the USA, Germany, France and Spain. We've also had a recent influx of tourists visiting from Australia, Latin America and Russia as the thirst for learning more about gin spreads worldwide."

    Sipsmith, based in Chiswick, west London, offers gin masterclasses, a sipping club and tours of their distillery.

    A spokesperson told The Telegraph that increasingly more people are visiting during business trips and holidays to the UK.

    And leading gin review site Gin Foundry agree that international visitors are "part and parcel" of the surge of people visiting British distilleries.

    The UK tourism board has confirmed that there is a "strong interest from international travellers" in trying British gin.

    Patricia Yates, the director of VisitBritain, added: "The growing and diverse range of gin distilleries and gin-inspired visitor experiences across the country, from tasting activities to trying your hand at distilling and mixing, is helping to boost Britain's profile on the international stage as a food and drink destination."

  • March 14, 2019 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WLRN

    A number of bills that would make changes to Florida's alcohol rules are moving through the legislature. But many of them make exceptions to the state's three tier system that separates manufactures, distributors and vendors.

    When it comes to alcohol, Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) says Florida's law need an update.

    "I think that this bill today, we are updating prohibition era laws, we are opening up the free market, we are removing barriers for the little guys, the small businesses," Raschein says

    Raschein is behind a bill that would let craft distilleries ship their products out of state, offer sales at festivals and fairs and let distilleries get licensed as manufacturers as well as a distributors or exporters. Jeremy Craig runs the Copper Bottom craft distillery with his wife and parents.

    "All we're really trying to do is level the playing field. We really just want to be able to sell our products. We're asked constantly, we're just outside of Daytona Beach in Holly Hill Florida, we're asked every day if we can ship our product out of state. Most of the people who come to our tasking room are tourists. Unfortunately, now with the regulations of baggage, most people can't take a bottle back with them so we're asked constantly if we can ship. The other thing that's to our disadvantage is we can't sell cocktails or any kind of mixed drinks," Craig says.

    Craig says letting craft distilleries do what other companies like craft breweries already do would help him grow his business, creating jobs and driving tourism. And Phil McDaniel with the St. Augustine distillery agrees. He says the changes in Raschein's bill could also help to highlight Florida's agriculture industry.

    "Florida will one day be famous not only for our beautiful beaches and sunshine but also the wonderful rum that's made from Florida sugar cane and the whiskey made from our wheat and corn,"McDaniel says.

    But the measure is getting pushback from distributors and retailers who say there's no reason to further interrupt the state's three tier system, which separately licenses manufactures, distributors and retailers. Scott Dick represents ABC Liquor. Despite what some distillers say, he's worried the measure won't result in a level playing field.

    "We can't as retailers ship product out of state and we favor that restriction. However, if there is going to be lifting of restriction we ask that all retailers be treated the same and allow not only ABC but also the independent retailers to profit from that side of the business," "Dick says.

    Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) has a similar bill in the Senate. He says the changes to the three tier system will be minimal.

    "Look if it was up to me we would get rid of the three tier system because it is an archaic prohibition era issue, but this doesn't seek to do that. This seeks to allow craft brewers and craft wineries to implement," Brandes says.

    And Brandes says the overall impact on the state will be small because only a handful of craft distilleries are in operation. Palm Coast Republican Senator Travis Hutson says for him the issue is simple.

    "Too many times a lot of say we're free market principled, we're for small business and then all the sudden an alcohol bill gets up and some of us get really weak kneed. You have to be for your principles, you have to be for what you campaigned on and I believe this bill does that," Hutson says.

    Brandes' bill also increases allows wine to be sold in larger containers. Another with similar bill language in the House is also moving forward.


  • March 11, 2019 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Crosscut

    To reach customers, makers of Washington spirits say they need more tasting rooms and fewer serving limits.

    Ryan Hembree cradles a bottle of vodka in one palm, telling two customers about the 17 pounds of potatoes that went into it. The couple sits across from him, their stools pulled up to the bar Hembree and his cousin made from slabs of cedar.

    Just a few feet away, the production floor of Skip Rock Distillers is piled high with pallets of local rye. Barrels of rye whiskey are stacked against the far wall, set aside to age. Lining the wall behind Hembree are bottles of his house-made raspberry liqueur, blackberry liqueur and nocino, a liqueur made from walnuts.

    It's all part of a movement craft distillers call "grain to glass" - the liquor version of "farm to table." Like other craft distillers throughout the state, Hembree makes his spirits on site, primarily from raw materials grown locally in Washington.

    "Working with the farmers and securing the raw materials, and seeing the raw materials come in - I love that part of it," said Hembree, 45, who started his business in Snohomish 10 years ago.


  • December 04, 2018 9:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At NimbleJack Partners, we offer a global portfolio of synthetic cork & natural cork bartop closures to help you build & package your perfect distilled spirits brand.  We also offer screwcaps, tin capsules and polylam capsules, as well as glass bottles & glass decoration.  Our focus is on collaborative support, unmatched communication, and a total dedication to each and every one of our customers. When you work with NimbleJack, we take care of your bartop supply needs so you can focus your energy where it belongs: creating your very best brand and disrupting the market with your innovative products!  Please learn more at:  www.nimblejackpartners.com

    Heinz Heidenreich; heinz@nimblejackpartners.com; 707-486-5699;  Founder

    Colleen Heidenreich, colleen@nimblejackpartners.com; 707-592-6266; Co-Founder

CONTACT US

816 Congress Avenue, Suite 940,
Austin, TX 78701

Amber Hausenfluck, Government Affairs: (512) 617-4523
Daniel Whitehead, Administration: (804) 775-1959 

info@texasdistilledspirits.org
www.texasdistilledspirits.org

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