Craft spirit makers medal at national competition


Kyle Van Strien, left, and Jon O'Connor are the co-owners of Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids. Courtesy Long Road Distillers

Several West Michigan distilleries have won awards at a national competition, including Best of Class.

Long Road Distillers, New Holland Artisan Spirits and Bier Distillery all brought home medals from the American Distilling Institute’s 11th-annual Judging of Craft Spirits in Baltimore.

Long Road Distillers won gold for its aquavit, and the spirit also took home Best of Class in the Specialty Spirit category. Long Road also won Best of Show for its aquavit at the American Craft Spirits Association Awards in Nashville last month and has won similar honors for the spirit at competitions in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Long Road Michigin won a gold medal in Excellence in Packaging, and the distillery was awarded two bronzes for its malt whiskey and gin.

New Holland Artisan Spirits, a brand of Holland-based New Holland Brewing, won eight medals.

New Holland won silver medals for its Zeppelin Bend American Single Malt Whiskey, Zeppelin Bend Reserve American Single Malt Whiskey, Knickerbocker Gin and Freshwater Michigan Rum.

New Holland’s Barrel Knickerbocker Gin, Navy Strength Knickerbocker, Knickerbocker Ginger Flavored Gin and Blue Haven Blueberry Flavored Gin won bronze medals.

Comstock Park-based Bier Distillery won a silver medal for its Brillari Amaro.

Other Michigan winners

Traverse City’s Grand Traverse Distillery, which has a shop at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, won seven medals, including a double gold medal and Best of Category for its True North Rye Vodka in the category Vodka: Grain-to-Glass Vodka – Residual Base Character.

The distillery also won a gold medal for its Islay Rye Whiskey, silvers for its Ole George 100% Straight Rye Whiskey and 100% Straight Bourbon Whiskey and a bronze medal for its True North Chipotle Vodka and Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey.

Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville in Benzie County won three bronze medals for its bourbon whiskey finished in maple syrup barrels, Michigan white rum and Michigan wheat whiskey.

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