Grand Rapids, Michigan has proven once again why it’s one of America’s greatest cities for adult beverages.
Long Road Distillers, a Grand Rapids- based distiller of whiskey, vodka, and other premium spirits, took home top honors for its Long Road Aquavit. This hand crafted spirit was awarded Best in Show Unaged White Spirit at the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition, beating out stiff competition from other distilleries in the United States and across the globe. Aquavit was also awarded a Double Gold Medal at the same event, furthering its reputation and adding to its growing stash of trophies and top recognition.
Grand Rapids has long enjoyed a reputation as a city that produces excellent craft beer, but Long Road Distillers shows that this western Michigan town is capable of high levels of quality and craftsmanship with other adult beverages. Long Road produces all of its spirits using 100 percent locally grown grain and distills everything on site. Co- owner Jon O’Connor says the no compromise philosophy when it comes to fresh ingredients and processes, along with talented and commitment employees have helped pull his fledgling business to the head of the class.
“It’s all about the people, ingredients, and equipment,” says O’Connor. “Our team of distillers has fine- tuned our process and fully embody our no-shortcuts approach. Combine that with the finest ingredients West Michigan has to offer and top of the line equipment from Vendome and Mueller, and we have the perfect recipe for achieving our goal of crafting world-class spirits right here in Grand Rapids!”
As many are fully aware, craft distilling is a booming business and as more distilleries enter the fold, the competition grows ever fiercer. This fact is illustrated well at the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition, which saw a 50 percent increase in the number of product submissions. More entries means a lower probability for winning, and that makes Long Road Distillers achievement that much more impressive.
Long Road Aquavit has won awards before. It was selected the Best Aquavit at competitions in Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle. And let’s not forget that this same spirit won Gold at Spirits International Prestige, the world’s largest consumer tasting competition. This is quite impressive for a product and business that have been in existence for less than two years.
Grand Rapids reputation as a beer city will likely remain for some time, but Long Road Distillers has proven that there is certainly room for more award- winning adult beverages in this western Michigan metropolis. Long Road’s products can be found at more than 400 places in Michigan and the company plans to expand further in 2017. With so many awards under its belt, Long Road Distillers would be a welcome addition to any liquor store or bar and I hope to see their products in my home state in the near future.
To learn more about Long Road Distillers please visit: www.longroaddistillers.com.
To learn more about the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, please visit: www.nyworldwineandspiritscompetition.com.