Distilling touches many parts of a state. The distilleries may be the face of the distilled spirits brand but there are many other businesses that take part in making local and regional spirits great. It starts as an agricultural product when farmers plant seeds to grow corn, wheat, rye, barley and other unique grains. Then it’s on to the distillery where its converted into spirits some are ready to go to market immediately while others are placed in warehouses for aging until that flavor profile is just right. Once ready, it’s distributed to spirits fans at local liquor stores, restaurants, bars, fairs and festivals.
Yes, distilled spirits touches many hands in a community and that’s why the Maryland Distillers Guild is celebrating Maryland Spirits Month. November 2019 marks the second year for Maryland Spirits Month and the distillers in Maryland and their fans couldn’t be more excited.
Maryland Spirits Month is a consumer-focused celebration lead by the members of the Maryland Distillers Guild. The festivities are intended to promote the state’s 28 licensed distilleries and educate people about this local industry.
The spirits industry in Maryland is represented by a diverse group of innovative and entrepreneurial business owners and operators. The scale of local distilling operations ranges from state-of-the-art equipment located in newly constructed production facilities to stills operating in historic agricultural buildings. Statewide, distillers are gaining reputations for producing award-winning gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey while also creating revolutionary takes on various amaros, liqueurs, and cordial spirits.
“The creativity of Maryland’s distillers seems unparalleled. It is exciting to watch locally distilled spirits make such an impression in the marketplace,” said Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of the Maryland Distillers Guild.
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Maryland Distillers Guild to Launch a Passport
As part of this year’s Maryland Spirits Month, the Maryland Distillers Guild plans to release a passport featuring visitor information about distilleries and tasting rooms that are open to the public. Copies of the passport are free and will be available at local distilleries in early-November. This passport is meant to be a journal for consumers cataloging their distillery visits and spirits tastings.
“We hope the passport will create new craft spirit consumers and encourage seasoned enthusiasts to explore the amazing distilleries throughout our state,” said Monica Pearce, owner of Tenth Ward Distilling in Frederick.
Maryland has a storied history tied to the distillation of spirits. In the years prior to Prohibition, the state’s distilleries were producing volumes of whiskey, often rye, that were topped by only Kentucky and Pennsylvania. As Prohibition swept the nation in 1919, Maryland earned the nickname the “Free State” due to the resistance of citizens to federal legislation that was viewed to directly infringe on the rights of their state.
Why is Maryland Called the Free State?
The name “Free State” was given in 1919, when Congress passed a law prohibiting the sale and use of alcohol. Marylanders opposed prohibition because they believed it violated their state’s rights. The “Free State” nickname also represents Maryland’s long tradition of political freedom and religious tolerance. ~Maryland Office of Tourism
Members of the Maryland Distillers Guild are a community of craft producers, dedicated to developing quality spirits and delivering a dynamic experience for visitors.
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