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Do you define what a craft distiller is that's a fantastic question and one that is easily answered by going to our definition of member and the American craft spirits association diff cited to define craft by of certain standards which are to be a member of the association you must produce fewer than seven hundred and fifty thousand proof gallons along with that you must sign a code of ethics which affirms that involves that's what's in the bottle is in fact what is on your label and importantly also is the independence and control that you have over the distillery operation we didn't want to purposely provide a number of volume number four members that would be set to low because we would know that we have to probably remove that number increases each year because we want our members to be successful in the world of craft how big is the market share Margie for craft distillers versus some of the larger distilling companies well last year alone so if I'm looking at twenty eighteen in terms of volume sales we reached at this point long sales that we should be exceedingly proud of because a growing annual growth rate of twenty five percent so invaluable terms were about four point eight billion in sales and in non value we represent about five point eight percent of the overall market in just under four percent volume of the of the market and more just for the benefit of me I'm not a teetotaler but I don't drink hard liquor so I'm kind of new to all of this can you just give me the thirty second explanation of distillation of what is still is and what it does well I'm I'm probably able to provide that but I think almost Courtney McKee would be in a better position sheet from she's actually are a distiller okay Courtney can you just give me the thirty second idiots guide to what a distillery is and how it works absolutely several ads so distilleries do you work very similar to worries me mash we for man's and and we're a brewery than social what they produce we take it one step further I'm and we run it through a purification system where we are separating man hi in a still separating out the the majority of the water from bed the spirit so we're looking to retain at Assen all we're looking to retain some character depending on what it is that were that were producing but really what we're doing is we're taking ninety percent of the volume that we've made and we're dumping it down the right train and were taking the final ten percent and turning that into a product we get to share with the audience Courtney told us about head frame spirits how to get started so we had frame actually started as a result of a of a failure my at my husband and business partner now my husband was working in the bio diesel industry he was building biodiesel refineries around the Midwest and in two thousand ten the company that he was working for failed as a as a function of the recession and that gave us a really great opportunity to take what he knew about distilling and what I knew about running a business and turn that locally to our community and creates am I happy your next chapter for our family and something that that that maximize my opportunity for awesome for for our community and I'm in terms of storytelling to a larger audience so it's kind of your your nice guy version of of of breaking bad in a way you to the side she knew and then you apply it to something else with with much happier circumstances I should say I'm not comparing your husband Walter white it just felt like a very interesting way to pivot from business to business tell me about what makes head frame spirits unique Courtney what's your special recipe for lack of a better term I'm well part of what makes had frame unique hi is is Sam a suite of products that we opened west and two thousand twelve folks in this industry are incredibly creative and we continue all of us to push the boundaries and what definitions of spirits are and what kinds of flavors were introducing to you ID and says one of the originals that made am I had free really stand out is called working girl Bourbon cream look core and had frame is branded after our community I had frames were mining structures hi beauties that copper mining town and had frames for the old mining structure is the elevators that raised and lowered minors under the ground and we decided to name the company after the community in that sense and use it to tell story about the community Sweeney me to the products after mines in beauty and orphan girl is one of those another piece of differentiation for ahead for you is that we also build distillation equipment forward distilleries around the world so we build really high tech hi continuous flow distillation systems for our peers in the industry I'm sorry continuous flow does that mean that it just keeps byte distilling the filling as opposed to doing a batch stopping in doing another batch or what does that mean exactly you are exactly correct batch distillation similar to eighty cattle you fill it up hi you apply heat to calm the alcohol is removed you dump the water you clean it out you fill it again and continuous flow distillation with that same tea kettle I analogy rather than filling the kettle we're putting just a small volume in the cattle at a time and maintaining a balance were always able to feed in and and take off product at continuously it and we see a whole host of financial advantages for companies running continuous flow stills and and and we're proud to be the folks bringing this type of science to the industry Brian Christmas and what you think is fueling the growth of American craft distilling clearly we've got some much for north like Courtney who are finding a variety of ways to distinguish themselves what do you see in a broader sense in terms of why this sector is growing I think it has a lot to do with people's interest in connecting to local products and people I mean one of the huge benefits craft distilling has you know the small producers is they can build personal relationships like corny talks about they've built a following within their local community that really cares about what they do and they give back some people want to know where their you know their products are coming from and where the ingredients are sourced from so you've got distillers for working with local farmers and they tie in the agriculture and you can actually point to the farm that you know grain is coming from and then they can go in and actually watch a being produced and then see the barrels so you have kind of this local velour community that's really excited about the innovation that's happening and that's the other thing small producers they can make a lot of really esoteric products you know you've got you know Bourbon creams and you've got you know brandies and things that large producers maybe more may making is consistently smaller producers can make and really kind of be created an experimental it's it's really exciting Courtney what about you your ingredients to use ingredients from Montana do you supply from other we work primarily with grain from Montana the corn we use for her Bourbon isn't isn't grown in Montana and so that's the only AG that we that we bring in and it's a Montana is where most of the barley used in the U. S. comes from we have the country's largest mall house about three hours away from us and it's you know it's our challenge sort of two at two distillers in Montana and that you know why should we let all this amazing AG get trucked to other states to become product why can't we keep more of that at home and your head very proudly uses about two hundred thousand pounds of Montana grain annually and that's a really exciting that's a really exciting number with regard to the local relationship that's kind of what Russell was getting at in this voice mail he left in our inbox this is Russell squaw valley in Lake Tahoe California my favorite local distillery is called Verde by local and they're located moved her died about a just outside of Reno they make fantastic whiskeys and gender better sold all around the world and also have a small bar where you can taste the product Russell thanks for sharing that with us and he by the way Russell hope that you're doing all right with the planned power outages up and down the state of California we know that a number of the PGA any outages are in the Sierra Valley foothills so hopefully you and yours are all doing well with that were speaking to Margie Lehrman the CEO of the American craft spirits association Brian Christensen the co owner and editor of artisan spirit magazine and Courtney McKee the owner and founder of head frame spirits glad to get some more of your stories and thoughts about the distilleries that have made an impact on you or if you are a distiller what you're making and what you're doing to make it a little unique one A. acts W. A. M. U. dot org I'm Joshua Johnson and you're listening to one Hey Margie we got a number of comments like what N. K. Y. girl rode NT why girl tweeted Bourbon not from Kentucky heresy Margie I'm sorry I'm laughing at that no you're not on the web Anna sorry well yes exactly because the definition of Bourbon is not that it is made in the state unlike Tennessee whiskey for example the definition of a of Bourbon is that it must have at least fifty one percent corner above I am in Indiana right now because I'm at our annual spirits competition where I will tell you that Bourbon has been submitted in that is probably one of the larger categories of spirits that have been submitted and they are literally from all across the country you mentioned at the start of the program that there's over two thousand operating distilleries right now in the United States and I will say that Bourbon is one of those products because it does need to age to have of the flavors really mailed in and to be something that the consumer would really be able to experience that wow factor and as a result you'll see a flow of other products that are made to sort of help these sales in the distillery saying flow until they produce the the Bourbon so what we're seeing this year compared to other years or Bourbons that have been H. much longer and I can't wait to taste them when I'm done with this show you said you're at a spirits competition in Indiana I am tell us about that what's going on sure every year the American press spirits association produces a spirits competition are judging where we have a panel of about forty judges coming in from across the country within all different disciplines from spirits writers to famous mixologist two authors to bar owners hospitality group and they will assemble over the course of the next few days to.

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