Craft spirits maker wins eight medals at international competition


Long Road Distillers in northwest Grand Rapids features cocktails, farm-fresh food and to-go bottles. Photo via

The award shelf for a local craft spirits maker is getting crowded.

Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids said this week that it added eight more medals, including six gold medals, to its résumé at the 2016 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition last month.

More than 360 spirits were entered into the competition.

Long Road has also won top honors at two international spirit competitions in 2016.

“We aim to be different from other distilleries in the way we source our ingredients and craft our spirits,” said Kyle Van Strien, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “We are proud to call Grand Rapids home and to bring these awards and high-quality spirits to the community.”

Eight medals

Once again, Long Road was lauded for its aquavit, earning the gold medal for Best Aquavit at the competition.

“For us to be recognized again for our aquavit re-affirms our commitment to creating old-world spirits from locally sourced ingredients,” Van Strien said.

The distillery was also awarded a silver medal for its gin and a bronze medal for its vodka.

In addition to the taste-based awards, Long Road was honored for its packaging design, winning five of 36 packaging design awards. The distillery earned five gold medals, including Best Series, Best Typography and Best Design Aesthetics.

“We don't cut corners with our spirits, and the same is true for the way we present them,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “We're excited to share this recognition not only with our team at the distillery, but also our graphic designer and copywriter who have been with us since we first dreamt up Long Road over two years ago.”

International competition

The 6th-annual Los Angeles International Spirits Competition presented awards to products that were judged by a panel of 20 spirits experts in a blind-taste test with a 100-point scale.

The competition featured a number of award categories: rum, whiskey, gin, shochu, vodka, brandy, liqueurs, tequila, mixers, other spirits and packaging design. 

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