Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been more difficult to get out and experience craft distilleries. Yes, liquor sales in the United States have increased during the pandemic. And yes, Americans seem to be adapting their drinking habits to the
at-home bar. But this has mostly benefited the established liquor brands. Independent distilleries rely heavily on patrons coming through their doors. For them, the pandemic has been catastrophic.
But just because you can’t go to a craft distillery doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy craft spirits. For those still wanting the craft experience, there is another option. With a little help from the Internet, patrons can safely enjoy their favorite craft whiskey or try something new.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of the best craft distilleries you can order from online.
A symbol of what the distillery calls “The Mountain Lifestyle,” the makers of 10th Mountain Whiskey hail from Vail, Colorado. They claim their name from a division of elite U.S. Army mountaineers.
The distillery’s online store offers everything from bourbon and rye to vodka, moonshine, and even an Alpenglow cordial, all of which promise deep and distinct flavors exemplifying the spirit of the mountain lifestyle.
Though the distillery also sells its products individually, we suggest pitching in for the multi-pack, a collection of the distillery’s five best spirits, reasonably priced at under $200. This pack of bourdon, rye, vodka, moonshine, and Alpenglow cordial will ensure you will have the liquid fortification to wait out the pandemic.
Plus, with all that liquor, you can store some in one of PrestigeHaus’s decanters. Check out our selection here.
Other offerings include the 92-proof 10th Mountain Bourbon for $58 and the 86-proof 10th Mountain Rye for $45.
This Rochester, New York-based distillery is known for being the first grain-to-glass craft distillery to open since Prohibition. They use over 90 percent local ingredients to create their exceptional spirits.
Not only does the distillery offer its collection of bourbon and rye whiskeys, but also gin, vodka, moonshine, and coffee and bourbon cream liqueurs. All the distillery’s spirits are bottled stories, each with a unique history that describes the ingredients distilled within.
For the whiskey enthusiast, add the American Straight Whiskey to your cart for $40 or the Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey for $75. If you are looking for gin, grab the distillery’s American Dry Gin for $35 or venture to try the Lilac or Loganberry Gin for $35 each.
Manatawny Still Works is a Pennsylvania-based distillery that specializes in small batch spirits and prides itself on creating high-quality liquor rich in history and taste. Located in a repurposed industrial space in Pottstown, the distillery strives to retain as much history in its liquor as it does in the building.
From vodka, gin, and rum to whiskey, Manatawny Still Works has everything a lover of craft spirits wants to keep the pandemic blues under wraps. The distillery’s Four Grain Whiskeys range in price from $40-$70, while its American Rum and Gin range from $26-$40.
If you are searching for something different and new, Wigle Whiskey Distillery is your one-stop-shop.
The Pittsburgh Distilling Company, or the Wigle Whiskey Distillery, is also located in Pennsylvania. But, unlike Manatawny Still Works, the Wigle Whiskey Distillery has a range of whiskeys and spirits to choose from.
Some of the most exciting offerings from the Wigle Whiskey Distillery are the unique whiskeys that boast bold, inventive flavors. These include Scotch Cask Finished Bourbon and American Whiskey, as well as Madeira Finished Bourbon, Sherry Cask Finished Rye, and a Malted Rye Whiskey called Kilted Rye. These strong flavors are perfect for any craft whiskey fanatic looking for something different.
Wigle Whiskey Distillery bourbon ranges from $35-$85, with the special cask offerings on the higher end of the spectrum. The distillery also offers gin, rum, liqueurs like Limoncello, and even absinthe, for between $24-$45.
The first licensed distillery in Iowa since Prohibition, Cedar Ridge Distillery has won multiple awards for its craft spirits, from the American Distilling Institute’s “2017 Distiller of the Year” to “Best American Craft Whiskey” at the 2016 New York World Spirits Competition.
Cedar Ridge Distillery sources its grain from its home state, touting the Iowa soil as the fertile ground from which the bourbon’s sharp flavor begins to emerge. Though the distillery’s selection is limited for online purchases, it nonetheless provides the essentials to any at-home craft devotee.
Offered are the distillery’s Iowa Straight Bourbon Whiskey for $35, the Quintessential American Single Malt Whiskey for $60. There are also two collaborations with the Iowa-based rock group Slipknot: Slipknot No. 9 at $40 and Slipknot No. 9 Reserve for $80.
Heralded as the oldest distillery in Charlotte, North Carolina, Great Wagon Road Distillery is a staple of the North Carolinian whiskey scene. Proud of its independent status, the distillery seeks to provide its customers a taste of traditional craftsmanship born from three generations of whiskey making, which began in Ireland.
The distillery offers a range of craft whiskeys, from American Single Malt to traditional Carolina Whiskey, including a Drumlish Poteen Carolina Whiskey made of barley and wheat. Also, the distillery makes a corn-based vodka using pure spring water sourced in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Great Wagon Road offers its Rua American Single Malt for $50, its Quinn’s Barrel Rest Whiskey for $35, and its Salamander Vodka for $20.
Social distancing does not mean you need to sacrifice your craft distillery obsession. You still want the independent touch that reveals itself in the subtle flavors of your liquor.
The good news is that even in a pandemic, craft distilleries offer great alternatives to the larger, more well-known labels. With these six craft distilleries, you will be able to enjoy bold, locally-sourced flavors that are truly one-of-a-kind.
Did we miss a distillery? Comment below with the favorite craft distillery you have been buying from during the pandemic.