Following on the coattails of the 35 year old craft beer movement, the craft distilling industry is booming, with exponential growth in openings of new distilleries across the country. According to Michael Kinstlick, CEO of Coppersea Distilling, who gave a presentation at the American Distilling Institute’s annual conference in San Diego this week, there are now more than 1,000 craft distilleries operating in the US. Virtually every state has at least one craft distillery.
Although there were a few pioneers in the 90’s, the industry didn’t begin a slow crawl to growth until the early 2000’s, confined mainly to Northern California.
Beginning as a small-scale phenomenon confined to the wine-producing regions of the West Coast, craft spirits brands began to debut on a national scale in the early 2000s. There has been explosive growth in the last few years, and the number of distillers is expected to double over the next five years.