Fifteen years ago, the number of craft distilleries in the U.S. barely topped 20. By 2010, there were 90, and today that number is edging toward 1,000.1 The craft spirits industry is riding the wave of public enthusiasm for distilled spirits and locally sourced foods and beverages.
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Explore this issueOctober/November 2015
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Overall revenue in the distilled spirits market—including the industrial-sized brand-name distilleries—has increased significantly in the past 15 years, reaching an all-time high of $4.2 billion in 2014, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. The craft distillery share of that revenue was $400 to $500 million, representing about 1.7 percent share of the spirits market by volume.1
Nicole Austin, master blender at King’s County Distillery, Brooklyn, N.Y., says there has been a significant shift in market trends since the late 1990s. “In the ’80s and ’90s, during the height of the appletini cosmo drink, people weren’t caring or asking questions about how things were made or where they came from or even distinguished what was good or what was bad. It was just, ‘I want the purple drink or the green one.’”
Now, things are different, agrees Ralph Erenzo, co-founder of Tuthilltown Spirits Farm Distillery, Gardiner, N.Y.
About Kathy Holliman
Kathy Holliman, MEd, has been a medical writer and editor since 1997. She has worked on several publications focused on infectious diseases, cardiology, endocrinology, oncology/hematology, orthopedics, psychiatry, and pediatrics. Since becoming a freelance writer and editor in 2006, she has contributed to several healthcare publications in the fields of rheumatology, food quality and safety, internal medicine, and other medical association publications and medical education courses. Kathy has attended well over 100 medical meetings in the U.S. and Europe, and she continues to work as a writer and editor for onsite publications at several of those meetings. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.