Thursday, March 15, 2012

Corsair Artisan Distillery Joins KDA.

Corsair Artisan Distillery today announced that it has joined the ranks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Commonwealth’s foremost voice on spirits issues for more than 130 years.

“Corsair is one of the largest and most innovative craft distilleries in Kentucky, and we’ve been impressed with their growing portfolio of brands,” said Jeff Conder, Chairman of the KDA Board of Directors and Vice President of Americas Operations for Beam, Inc. “Our craft members are an important part of our organization and an emerging industry in the state, and we are happy to welcome Corsair to the KDA,” Conder said.

Corsair, located in Bowling Green’s historic town square, was founded in 2008 by friends Darek Bell and Andrew Webber. A second distillery in Nashville, TN, was added mid-2010. Bell and Webber focus on producing very small runs of premium spirits, combining traditional recipes and unusual techniques and ingredients. Products include Triple Smoke American Single Malt Whiskey, 100 percent Rye Whiskey, Wry Moon Unaged Rye Whiskey, Pumpkin Spice Moonshine and Corsair Gin and Barrel Aged Gin.

“This region is the heart of American distilling, producing spirits recognized around the globe as some of the world’s best,” Webber said. “KDA members distill products that represent America worldwide. We’re hugely honored to join.” Corsair becomes KDA’s 11th member and the fifth Kentucky craft distillery to join.

The KDA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1880. Members include Beam Inc. (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark), Brown-Forman, Diageo North America, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., and Wild Turkey. Craft distillery members include Alltech, Barrel House Distilling Co., MB Roland Distillery and Limestone Branch.

The KDA’s craft membership is available to licensed Kentucky distillers that maintain an inventory of less than 25,000 barrels of distilled beverage spirits, according to KDA President Eric Gregory. “Our members can trace their Kentucky roots back generations to small, family-owned distilleries that today are global icons,” Gregory said. “It’s with great pride that the KDA welcomes Corsair Artisan and our craft partners in keeping this tradition alive. “We look forward to working with Corsair Artisan to promote our rich heritage, to advocate fair treatment of our industry and to continue our commitment to responsible drinking.”


Ryan said...

Chuck, I have heard you use the term "craft" a lot before... What does that mean really? Does a distillery have to produce under a certain number of barrels a year to be considered craft? Thanks!

Chuck Cowdery said...

There is no generally accepted definition. It's mostly just a useful shorthand way to refer to small producers. The KDA has its definition. Most people seem to know that's what it means. As for the question of are small producers necessarily superior in the sense that 'craft' implies, I've asked that since the beginning.