The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), a non-profit trade association representing the U.S. craft spirits industry, has announced the winners of its 8th Annual Judging of Craft Spirits.
Winners were honored during a livestream awards ceremony. Medalists were selected among a pool just shy of 550 entrants.
During the event, ACSA bestowed the evening’s top honor, the Best of Show award, to Milam & Greene Whiskey Distillery in Blanco, Texas, for their Port Finished Rye.
Dan Garrison from Garrison Bros Distillery served as the evening’s emcee, providing remarks to the online audience. The stream also featured welcome remarks from Margie A.S. Lehrman, ACSA’s CEO, who provided a brief behind-the-scenes update on the organization’s accomplishments this past year (namely, permanent FET Relief), ongoing COVID-19 support efforts and advocacy work on behalf of the country’s 2,250 craft spirits producers.
Maggie Campbell, ACSA’s Judging Committee Chair, gave a welcome with a toast to the future of the industry.
This year, entries were submitted from 42 states across the country in seven main categories: whiskey, gin, rum, vodka & grain spirits, brandy, distilled specialty spirits, and ready to drink (RTD).
In addition to a Best of Show and the Best in Class distinctions, the judging panel awarded 12 gold, 228 silver, and 242 bronze medals.
The 2021 Best in Class distinctions, the highest honor in each of the seven judging categories, were awarded to a mix of both established, award-winning distilleries and younger newcomers. These winning distilleries receive hand-carved barrelheads courtesy of Thousand Oaks Barrel Co, and all medal recipients receive custom medals provided by Apholos.
Best in Class Winners in Each Category Included:
- Whiskey: Port Finished Rye, Milam & Greene Whiskey Distillery (TX)
- Gin: 28 Mile Gin, 28 Mile Distilling Co. (IL)
- Rum: Navy Strength Rum, Star Union Spirits (IL)
- Vodka & Grain Spirits: San Luis Valley Potato Vodka, Wood’s High Mountain Distillery (CO)
- Brandy: Pear Brandy XO Edition, Peach Street Distillers (CO)
- Distilled Specialty Spirits: Carlino Bro’s Bootleggers Edition Barrel Finish, 3 Hundred Days Distilling (CO)
- RTD: Copperwing House Calls Wilderness Downtown, Copperwing Distillery (MN)
The complete list of winners is available on the ACSA website here.