DistilleryTrail - The Top 10 Stories, Distilleries and Suppliers of 2021

The distilled spirits world experienced many ups and downs in 2021. Despite a downturn in tours and tastings, sales and production for the most part stayed steady. And while searching for new revenue streams and new ways to connect with customers we saw a temporary relaxation in Prohibition era rules that allowed for the creation of new lines of business like cocktails-to-go and direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping of bottled spirits. We also continued to see massive growth in ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails category.

Hopefully we’ll see many of these temporary rule changes be made permanent in 2022.

Alexander Graham Bell - March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922
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When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.
~Alexander Graham Bell

Perhaps the best news for the year is that according to the Craft Spirits Data Project from the American Craft Spirits Association the number of licensed distilleries actually grew last year to nearly 2,300. With the number of new craft spirits makers continuing to grow we have lots to look forward to in the new year.

Without further ado, here are the Top 10+ stories, distilleries and suppliers of 2021. Cheers!

Top 10 Articles of 2021

Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey - Groundbreaking at Horse Soldier Farms in Somerset, Kentucky
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  1. Kentucky’s 1st African-American Owned Distillery Makes History as They Fill Their 1st Barrel of Bourbon 
  2. Kentucky Bourbon Festival to Celebrate 30th Year with a Completely Reenvisioned Festival for 2021 
  3. Horse Soldier Bourbon is ‘Coming Home’ with New $200 Million Distillery Destination on Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland
  4. “Hey Daddy-o” Did You Know a Portion of Freddie’s Soda Sales Supports an African American Civil War Memorial? 
  5. New Kentucky Law Allows Distillery Visitor Center Sales to Bypass 3-Tier System; Updates DTC Shipping Fulfillment 
  6. Jack Daniel Distillery Releases ‘Coy Hill’ Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey at 148.3° – It’s Highest Proof Ever 
  7. Startup Jackson Purchase Distillery Hires Veteran Master Distillers Craig Beam and Terry Ballard 
  8. Maker’s Mark Tests Barrel Entry Proof of 110, 115, 120 & 125. 8 Years Later, the Results are Re’Mark’able 
  9. Kentucky Artisan Distillery Releases its 1st ‘Whiskey Row’ Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon 
  10. Log Still Distillery Celebrates the Grand Opening of ‘The Amp[hitheater]’ with Little Big Town
  11. Bonus Story: Sazerac Returns Early Times Whisky Distillation to Bardstown after 103 Year Hiatus 
  12. Bonus Story: Go Big or Go Home: Sugarlands Distilling Co. Builds 2nd Distillery Featuring the Largest Pot Still in the U.S. 

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Top 10 Distilleries of 2021

Log Still Distillery - Tasting Room Ribbon Cutting
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  1. Nearest Green Distillery
  2. Log Still Distillery
  3. Brough Brothers Distillery
  4. Great Jones Distillery
  5. Boundary Oak Distillery
  6. Republic Restoratives Distillery
  7. Tennessee Distilling
  8. Town Branch Distillery
  9. Neeley Family Distillery
  10. Old Dominick Distillery
  11. Michter’s Distillery
  12. Boone County Distilling
  13. Buffalo Trace Distillery
  14. Huber’s Starlight Distillery
  15. Hill Country Distillery

View all Distilleries here.

Top 10 Distilleries by State of 2021

Michter's Distillery - Michter's Fort Nelson Distillery on Louisville's Whiskey Row
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  1. Kentucky
  2. North Carolina
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. Indiana
  6. Wisconsin
  7. California
  8. Ohio
  9. Virginia
  10. Tennessee
  11. Alabama
  12. Illinois
  13. Pennsylvania
  14. Missouri
  15. South Carolina

View all States here.

Top 10 Distilled Spirits Suppliers of 2021

Sugarlands Distilling Co. - New Vendome Copper & Brass Works 4500 Gallon Copper Pot Still
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  1. Affordable Distillery Equipment
  2. American Spirits Exchange
  3. Cardinal Co-Packaging
  4. Vendome Copper & Brass Works
  5. Cincinnati Dowel & Wood Products
  6. Southern Distilling Company – Contract Distillation
  7. The Barrel Mill
  8. West Virginia Great Barrel Company
  9. ICC TurnKey
  10. Spirits 360 Solutions
  11. Moonshine University
  12. Independent Stave Company
  13. Bluegrass Bottling
  14. Next Century Spirits
  15. VITOK Engineers

Top 10 Supplier Categories of 2021

Kentucky Distillers' Association - Announces 10+ Million Barrels of Bourbon Aging in Kentucky
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  1. Bulk Spirits
  2. Stills
  3. Barrels
  4. Bottles
  5. Distillery Management Software
  6. Architects / Engineers
  7. Distributors
  8. Grains
  9. Packaging
  10. Classes / Workshops / Training
  11. Bottling Services
  12. Bungs
  13. Bottle Fillers
  14. Corks & Closures
  15. Filling Equipment

View all Distilled Spirits Supplier Categories.

2022 Goals = Get More Sales

Distillery Products and Services Research Starts Online
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Connecting the dots between craft spirits makers and industry suppliers.
Do you provide products or services to distilleries? Get a jump start on 2022 by adding your business to the Distillery Trail Supplier Directory. Our audience wants to know about your business!
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