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Best New Craft Distillery (2021)

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The country now has more than 2,000 craft distilleries. With so many distilleries opening up each year, we decided to highlight some of the best on the scene. 

  • City Gate Spirits

    City Gate Spirits
    St. Augustine, FL

    This new distillery offers moonshine, whiskey, rum and vodka, only steps from St. Augustine's iconic city gate. Visit their tasting room to compare their Smoked Maple, Cinnamon and Peanut Butter whiskey options. Or, take the time to contrast their Pineapple, Coconut, Spiced Orange or Tropical rums. If you prefer moonshine, they have White Lightning, Apple Pie and Orange N' Cream flavors. Don't forget their Grapefruit, Limoncello and Sweet Tea vodkas. You can also take home their Ancient City Spice or Passion Fruit Sour mixers as souvenirs of your trip to St. Augustine.
    Photo courtesy of City Gate Spirits

  • Wonderland Distilling Co.

    Wonderland Distilling Co.
    Muskegon, MI

    As a new distillery in Michigan, Wonderland is blending other whiskeys while their own products are aging. Their Blend takes corn, wheat, and straight rye whiskeys, distilled and aged on their own, and expertly blends them after maturation. A limited-edition Cask blend is bottled straight from the barrel without proofing. They also offer handcrafted gin and vodka. With this attention to detail, they have a fantastic adventure ahead of them.
    Photo courtesy of Wonderland Distilling Co.

  • Log Still Distillery

    Log Still Distillery
    New Haven, KY

    Seven generations after Joseph Washington Dant crafted a still out of an old hollowed-out poplar log in 1836, his descendants are returning to the trade in a big way. Log Still is at the heart of Dant Crossing, a 300-acre property near New Haven, Kentucky. At the heart of it is the distillery using some of the Dant Family's original mash recipes and instructions. Their first two offerings are traditional bourbon, rye whiskey, and gin under the Monk's Road label and a more adventurous line of whiskeys called Rattle and Snap.
    Photo courtesy of igorr1 // Getty Images

  • Plank Road Distillery

    Plank Road Distillery
    Plymouth, WI

    A rum distilled from Sugar in the Raw and blackstrap molasses. A single malt whiskey made from five types of barley. Bourbon with a high rye content. A corn-based vodka, distilled seven times and carbon filtered as a vapor. Those are just some of the delicacies at Plank Road Distillery in Plymouth, Wisconsin. They don't do distillery tours; instead, they will provide a friendly experience with their hand-crafted spirits and cocktails that you'll want to share with friends and family.
    Photo courtesy of Plank Road Distillery

  • End of Days Distillery

    End of Days Distillery
    Wilmington, NC

    What do you do at the end of the day? The young owners behind this new distillery in Wilmington, North Carolina think it should be a time for celebration with good friends with something outstanding to drink. These award-winning spirits are the perfect way to end the day. 
    Photo courtesy of End of Days Distillery

  • Axe Handle Distilling

    Axe Handle Distilling
    Pennington Gap, VA

    Sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of a log building overlooking Daniel Boone's Wilderness Trail watching the world go by just begs for a good whiskey. That's what you'll find at Axe Handle Distilling in Pennington Gap, Virginia, but it's a new 3,500 square foot complex with modern equipment, a gift shop, and a stage for good Appalachian music. Axe Handle's young lineup currently includes bourbon and rye whiskey and will soon expand to include gin and flavored liqueurs.
    Photo courtesy of igorr1 // Getty Images

  • Blackland Distillery

    Blackland Distillery
    Fort Worth, TX

    Blackland Distillery, which opened in 2019, produces rye whiskey, bourbon, gin and vodka, and offers a full-service upscale cocktail bar and tasting room focusing on the 30 to 35-year-old crowd in Fort Worth’s Foundry District. The distillery squeezes all their juices fresh daily, and they make all their bitters, sherbets, and infusions in-house. Their newest spirit is a small batch Texas Pecan Brown Sugar Bourbon - imagine that after Thanksgiving dinner or in your Christmas egg nog.
    Photo courtesy of Blackland Distillery

  • Fast Penny Spirits

    Fast Penny Spirits
    Seattle, WA

    The founders of Fast Penny Spirits spent over two years developing the perfect American take on amaro, a traditionally Italian herbal liqueur. The result is Amaricano, which combines over 45 sustainable botanicals - including saffron, wild black truffles, Rainier cherries, cascara, and rosebuds, all of which are sustainably foraged, organic or wild-crafted whenever possible. They produce two lines, Amaricano Bianca, the lighter aperitivo style, and Amaricano, a darker, rich digestif. Seattle-based Fast Penny commits three percent of their bottle revenue through Pretty Penny partnerships, to support women in business, community, and within the hospitality industry.
    Photo courtesy of Fast Penny Spirits

  • Asbury Park Distilling

    Asbury Park Distilling
    Asbury Park, NJ

    Asbury Park Distillery in New Jersey has wasted no time making a name for itself. Their Asbury Park gin and Small Batch Bourbon have both received high honors in competition. Esquire Magazine said their Double Barrel Bourbon, aged in both oak and used gin barrels, is the best in the state. Their current offerings include gin, bourbon whiskey, vodka, aquavit, and a new espresso limoncello.
    Photo courtesy of barmalini // Getty Images

  • Barber Lee Spirits

    Barber Lee Spirits
    Petaluma, CA

    After years of experimentation, two of the founders of Barber Lee Spirits developed one of America's only single malted rye whiskeys. Their distillery was built in an old brick warehouse in Sonoma County and opened its doors in 2019. They've since added an heirloom corn bourbon, apple cider brandy, a white rum distilled from piloncillo sugar, triple-distilled absinthe containing eight herbs, and a rye-based moonshine straight from their manual still.
    Photo courtesy of Barber Lee Spirits

We asked a panel of experts to nominate 20 of the best new craft distilleries in the USA, each opened in the past three years. Our readers then voted for their favorites, and the results are in.

The top 10 winners in the category Best New Craft Distillery are as follows:

  1. City Gate Spirits - St. Augustine, FL
  2. Wonderland Distilling Co. - Muskegon, MI
  3. Log Still Distillery - New Haven, KY
  4. Plank Road Distillery - Plymouth, WI
  5. End of Days Distillery - Wilmington, NC
  6. Axe Handle Distilling - Pennington Gap, VA
  7. Blackland Distillery - Fort Worth, TX
  8. Fast Penny Spirits - Seattle, WA
  9. Asbury Park Distilling - Asbury Park, NJ
  10. Barber Lee Spirits - Petaluma, CA

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning distilleries!

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Eric Grossman

Eric Grossman

Eric Grossman

Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Ziggy Eschliman

Ziggy Eschliman

Ziggy Eschliman

Brian Christensen

Brian Christensen

Brian Christensen
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