“The craft distillery industry is booming”, is often heard these days. I’ve seen this statement in many a blog, news article and PR piece over the last few years and it still rings true.
Living in the Capital Region of New York, I’ve seen this boom directly represented in the area’s liquor stores, both large and small.
In my local shopping experience I’ve seen NY liquor selections include everything from small batch vodka to craft rye whiskey, artisan rum and handcrafted bourbon. ‘Buying Local’ liquor is now even closer to home with so many choices becoming available within counties and even cities. The 90 or so small batch New York craft distilleries are located all over the state, from the very top near the Canadian border to the south in Brooklyn. The reach is far, and the growth tremendous.
This ‘boom’ provides liquor stores an entirely new category for their selection and a good percentage of them are enjoying the results of taking advantage of the rise in local options.
This new ‘local craft beverages’ category benefits the craft distillers, the discerning public and the liquor stores.
This NY Capital Region liquor store created an amazing display dedicated to locally produced small batch craft spirits. As soon as you walk in the door of All Star Liquor in Latham, NY you are greeted immediately with New York small batch vodka, craft rye whiskey, artisan rum, handcrafted bourbon and more.
In my Capital Region observations, our liquor stores all have their own unique and different ways of presenting their New York state spirits. Some will mix the New York spirits on the shelves among all other options, others will have a specific shelf or display dedicated to locally produced bottles, and others will have a mixture of both.
My favorite style of presentation that I’ve witnessed in both large and small stores is a ‘Buy Local’ display that is located immediately on entry to the store. Some stores will also offer tastings and seminars from local distillers, where the drinking public has the opportunity to ‘meet the maker’.
For you, as the ‘buy local’ consumer, the key is to ask. If you’re interested in supporting local craft spirit distillers, definitely ask a liquor store staff member, they are typically very knowledgeable and want to help you find something you will enjoy. It is also helpful to the local distillery for you to ask and encourage more liquor stores to offer local options.
Think New York. Drink New York.
Co-founder of Murray's Fools Distilling Co. | Altona, NY