On May 22nd, National Craft Distillery Day adds spirits to the small-batch revolution. Recognizing the diversity of distilled spirits, the industry followed in the footsteps of the craft brewers and began creating a market for themselves.
History of Distilling
Spirit distillation has a long and influential history going back to the Greeks. Some scholars have traced the earliest recorded wine distilling recipes back to Anaxilaus of Thessaly. Despite this, Rome expelled him for practicing magic in 28 B.C. The Greeks also took this idea and learned if they boiled wine in an open container, the hot alcohol vapor escaped first. Next, they captured the alcohol vapor.
When the slowly heated wine was in a vessel with a small mouth covered by a bowl, the alcohol collected as a condensed vapor inside the bowl. Then the Greeks discovered with the addition of a downward-slanted tube the vapor cooled and collected in the receiving vessel. Thus, the word “distill” comes from the Latin verb distillate, meaning “to drip down.”
Years of invention and discovery led to the spirits we drink today. Much like the boom of craft breweries in the 90s, today’s small craft distilleries bring an artisan-crafted spirit alternative to the products of large commercial distilleries. From gin and whiskey to bourbon, rum, and vodka, craft distillers infuse unique qualities into their products with locally sourced ingredients. Focusing on their craft and bringing a subtle character to their final spirit, distilleries set themselves apart from the competition. And the competition grows!
National Craft Distillery Day History
Distiller Nicholas Strauser, Connie Strauser, and Brandy Strauser-Sobanski of N Scott Distillery founded National Craft Distillery Day on May 22, 2019, in recognition of the growing movement of craft distilleries and the introduction of their signature recipe, that starts with a unique Bourbon mash, Gentleman’s 1864. The first drop of handcrafted spirits flowed off the artisan still at N. Scott Distillery on May 22, 2017. This marked the day that Las Vegas’s first family-owned and operated distillery, N Scott Distillery, joined America’s other craft distilleries producing fine handcrafted spirits.