The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) held its 2022 annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the conference the industry honored those that made outstanding contributions to the industry over the past year. Each recipient was presented with a beautiful award hand-crafted by Vendome Copper and Brass Works, a leading manufacturer of batch and continuous distillation systems.
This year’s coveted ‘Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year Award’ went to husband-and-wife duo and Co-Founders of Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. Scott and Becky Harris.
In memory of Dave Pickerell, the ‘Johnny Appleseed of craft distilling,’ the DISCUS Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year Award is presented to a DISCUS Craft Council Member who has been a leader in supporting the association and the needs of the craft distillery community.
“We are so humbled by this award,” said Founder and General Manager of Catoctin Creek Scott Harris. “Dave Pickerell was a mentor and a friend to us, and to receive an award in his honor is something we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
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As tireless advocates for the craft spirits industry both in the Commonwealth of Virginia and internationally, the Harris’ were honored for their outstanding service. Scott has been a long-time member of the DISCUS Craft Distiller Advisory Council and currently sits on the Virginia Distillers Association’s Board of Directors.
Becky is a fierce supporter of the industry’s growth as President of the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) Board of Directors and Secretary of the ACSA’s STEPUP Foundation, a program aimed to help combat the lack of diversity in the alcoholic beverage industry.
“Honestly, I’m speechless,” remarked Becky, Founder and Chief Distiller of Catoctin Creek. “The fact that this award was voted on by our peers in the Craft Advisory Council at DISCUS makes this even more special. To be recognized by them is indeed quite an honor.”
Together, Scott and Becky have been strong and effective advocates of top legislative and policy issues impacting the spirits sector ranging from passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act and the lifting of tariffs to state issues including direct-to-consumer shipping of spirits.
More than 550 spirit industry professionals and media joined DISCUS in honoring select industry leaders at their awards luncheon. In addition to the Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year Award, DISCUS presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Joy Spence, Master Blender of Appleton Estate Jamaica; Humanitarian/Service Award to Women of the Vine & Spirits (Deborah Brenner, President); and Impact Award for Emerging Leaders to Nicole Austin, General Manager and Distiller of Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, The Virginia Rye Whisky℠, was founded by Scott and Becky Harris in 2009. Inspired by the history and craft of Virginia, Catoctin Creek made a name for itself as the first legal distillery since Prohibition in Purcellville, Virginia’s Loudoun County. Catoctin Creek prides itself on sourcing rye whisky, gin, and seasonal brandy from local grains and fruits, with spirits available in 47 states and 3 continents.