According to the Craft Spirits Data Project, active craft distilleries in the United States increased by almost 11% in 2020. That means consumers continue to have plenty of options when it comes to selecting premium, American-made spirits.
We wanted to find the best craft and small-batch spirits producers – family-owned distilleries, grain-to-glass operations and distillers using only the best local ingredients in their products. We invited a panel of industry experts, as well as food and drink writers, to help us nominate 20 companies in each category. Then we invited you to vote for your favorites.
The results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Canned Cocktail: Bravazzi Hard Italian Soda
Bravazzi Hard Italian Soda brings a taste of Italy home with you — Photo courtesy of Bravazzi Hard Italian Soda
Visit Italy from home with a sip of Bravazzi, a line of hard Italian sodas in clementine, blood orange, lemon and grapefruit flavors. These hard sodas are naturally gluten-free and contain no artificial ingredients.
Best Craft Brandy Distillery: Huber's Starlight Distillery in Starlight, Indiana
Huber's Starlight Distillery uses estate-bottled wines to produce artisan European-style brandies and ports — Photo courtesy of Huber's Starlight Distillery
Located at Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards, Huber's Starlight Distillery uses estate-bottled wines to produce artisan European-style brandies and ports. Fresh blueberry juice is distilled into a wonderful blueberry liqueur that gets aged in red wine barrels for five to ten years, while a small-batch peach brandy is distilled from home-grown peaches.
Best Craft Gin Distillery: Revivalist Botanical Gins in Elverson, Pennsylvania
The Revivalists are shaking things up with their award-winning gin — Photo courtesy of Revivalist Botanical Gins
Housed in what they affectionately have nicknamed the "Hippie Barn," the Revivalists are shaking things up with their award-winning gin. The philosophy behind their dry, juniper-forward gins is "is rooted in radical curiosity, bold experimentation, and love for one-of-a-kind experiences."
Best Craft Mixer Brand: Strongwater
This award-winning craft mixer finds inspiration in the apothecaries of the 16th century — Photo courtesy of Strongwater
Inspired by the apothecaries of the 16th century, Strongwater adds a dash of botanical integrity to cocktails through their line of herb and hemp bitters, shrubs and cocktail syrups.
Best Craft Rum Distillery: LYON RUM in St. Michaels, Maryland
Rum lovers have numerous options to choose from at this award-winning distillery — Photo courtesy of LYON RUM
LYON RUM is the flagship spirit of Windon Distilling Company – a micro distillery on the Chesapeake Bay dedicated to distilling American rum from 100-percent Louisiana sugarcane using traditional pot stills. Rum lovers have numerous options to choose from: White Rum, Dark Rum and barrel-rested Sailors Reserve Rum, plus Curaçao, Coffee Rum, Rock&Rum and seasonal specialties like Toasted Coconut Rum, Overproof Pineapple Rum and Blackberry Harvest Rum.
Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery: Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington, Indiana
Cardinal Spirits wows with their specialty spirits — Photo courtesy of Cardinal Spirits
Indiana’s Cardinal Spirits provide their American version of an Italian liqueur with its one-of-a-kind spicy and naturally sweet La Boite Amaro. Fifteen culinary spices are blended to complement distilled red wine. The distillery also offers a Valencia Spanish Orange Liqueur, a Songbird Coffee Liqueur with added bourbon vanilla beans and cane sugar, and a Floral Liqueur infused with raspberries and jasmine, elderflower and hibiscus.
Best Craft Vodka Distillery: South Fork Vodka in Grass Valley, California
South Fork Vodka is one of the most awarded vodkas in Northern California — Photo courtesy of South Fork Vodka
South Fork Vodka is a six-time distilled spirit that is 100-percent gluten-free and non-GMO. It has already become one of the most awarded vodkas in Northern California.
Best Craft Whiskey Distillery: Ironroot Republic in Denison, Texas
Ironroot Republic offers a true grain-to-glass experience — Photo courtesy of Ironroot Republic
Ironroot Republic mashes, ferments, distills, ages and bottles all their spirits in Denison, Texas for a true grain-to-glass experience. The lineup includes three whiskeys – two straight bourbons and a limited release straight corn whiskey.
Best New Craft Distillery: City Gate Spirits in St. Augustine, Florida
These are the best new distilleries — Photo courtesy of City Gate Spirits
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.
Congratulations to all these Readers' Choice Award winners! Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in our other contests.