ADI 2013 - Denver!
I just returned back from the ADI (American Distilling Institute) Conference in Denver. Long time readers will remember that it's our industry's annual conference and the past couple years have been held in Louisville and Portland respectively... It's always fun to visit great American cities and experience their own unique vibes and spirit scenes. This year was no different. I stayed with my good friend Scott and got out there a little early to watch the NCAA tournament and do a little hiking and sight-seeing. I always love walking around when I'm visiting new places. I think physically walking outside -as opposed to riding around in a temperature controlled car - helps you slow down a little and really get to know the distinctly unique feel of a place. Plus it helps you discover little hidden watering holes... and of course, since it's my profession to make booze, it's almost my responsibility to stop in these places and sample the local wares... which is far from the worst professional obligation I can imagine!
During one of my walks, I came across this awning, which I took to be one of life's signs that could be boringly written off as mere coincidence. I don't believe in coincidence.
The conference itself was informative and fun as always, lots of great speakers on myriad topics relating to us craft distillers and I got many things out of it that I hope to implement in StilL 630. Come in and I'd be glad to talk all about them...
Of course, one of the "worst" parts of the conference is when we get to sample all the different spirits that the distillers from across the country submitted for judging... This was one of about six tables...
As we all joke, it's hard work, but someone's got to do it! Part of the fun is also touring local distilleries and seeing how they're set up and what cool things they're doing. This year I got to visit Stranahan's, Spirit 44, and New Belgium (yes, NB isn't technically a distillery, but it's the absolute gold standard for a great, visitor-friendly craft establishment... the place is phenomenal. Make time to visit if you're ever in the area.
I'm hoping that in a few years, we may even hold the ADI conference in St. Louis, and then StilL 630 can be the showcase distillery... That's my dream anyway. And like all my dreams, I'm going to try my damnedest to make it happen!