Exploring the Intersection of Beer and Whiskey

By: Becky Garrison

As James Saxon of London based Compass Box observes, historically, distilleries often grew out of breweries or operated alongside them with the union of beer and whisky rooted in process. “Until the 1950s and 1960s, many distilleries would even use yeast cultured and maintained within breweries to ferment their wort. We are starting to see more distilleries re-introduce brewers’ yeast for the flavor impact it can have.”

  Also, Saxon finds the role of the malt recipe or ‘mash bill’ for brewers to be fascinating. “I see the balancing of pale, crystal and chocolate malts to drive flavor and mouthfeel in beer as related to how we introduce different degrees of toasting and charring to the casks we use for whisky maturation.” In his estimation, both drinks benefit from the blender’s ethos. “When enjoyed together, you can experience the skillful layering of texture and flavor in new ways, discovering hidden qualities in the beer and surprising flavors in the whisky.”

  StormBreaker Brewing, a Portland, Oregon based brewpub known for offering whiskey beer pairings, launched Brewstillery in 2014 as a way of showcasing the range of beer and spirit pairings possible among Pacific Northwest brewers and distillers. Traditionally, this festival WAS held in February to commemorate the month when StormBreaker launched. This event featured 20 brewers and distillers paired together along live music and special food offerings with proceeds going to support the local charity Dollar for Portland. (While the festival was on hold due to Covid, StormBreaker hopes to launch the festival again in 2022.)

  When Sebastian Dejens, owner, Stone Barn Brandyworks in Portland, OR was invited to the first Brewstillery, he found this event represented a wonderful opportunity to pair up with some brewers for some creativity and discovery.  Three years into this festival, he told StormBreaker founders

Dan Malech and Rob Lutz that he would buy mash from them if they came up with a window of opportunity.

  For a few days the entire brewing capacity focused on producing roughly 150 gallons of beer. Dejens picked up this beer using a 275-gallon tote placed on the back of his truck that he filled from the tank.  Malech describes their brewing process for this particular beer. “We took our Red and bumped up the grain bill and the kettle hop additions for an intense hoppiness, complemented by a spicy dryness from the rye, but balanced nicely by malty caramel flavors. After fermentation we got hop crazy and dry hopped this beer with 3 lbs/bbl for an explosion of tropical fruit and a citrus nose.” Malech and Lutz named this beer “Good Not Great” (ABV: 8% IBU: 76) which went on to receive a gold medal in the 2020 World Beer Cup Awards in the Imperial Red Ale category.

  In 2020, Dejens released his first whiskey made from this beer. The name of this 92-proof whiskey Barnstormer is a mashup of the names Stone Barn and StormBreaker, with the whimsical label produced by StormBreaker’s label designer. This whiskey had a malty brown sugar sweetness with a nutty finish. Since this initial venture, Dejens continued to collaborate with StormBreaker each year on producing a barrel of whiskey using StormBreaker’s beer. In 2020, Dejens made two barrels as Stormbreaker had increased their barrel capacity. “There needs to be an element of space in the process. You’re making this for three to five years down the road, and you’re just hoping it’s all going to turn out,” Dejens reflected.

  Joshua M. Bernstein, a Brooklyn-based beer, spirits, food and travel journalist, parses the similarity between beer and whiskey from a production standpoint. “Beer and whiskey share a common starting point: grains are simmered to make a sugar-rich broth on which yeast feast, creating alcohol. Typically, a major difference is that distilleries are usually concerned with getting the most sugars (read: potential alcohol) from their grains, then letting the barrels contribute the lion’s share of flavor and aroma. Contrasting that, breweries use a full suite of grains, even darker-roasted ones that contribute fewer fermentable sugars. But now we’re seeing distilleries such as Westland Distilling in Seattle, WA take a craft brewer’s approach to grain selection, building big flavors with any and all grains before the distillates touch wood.”

Craft Brewers Turned

Single Malt Whiskey Distillers

  When Jason Parker, former head brewer with the Seattle based Pike Brewing Company, decided to co-found Copperworks Distilling with Micah Nutt, they knew they couldn’t compete with those established distilleries known for distilling spirits via traditional methods. Their process resulted in products with consistent flavor profiles that have been recognized by consumers for hundreds of years.

  So, they wondered what would happen if they were to distill high-quality beer. “We left the hops out of the beer to keep out the bitterness, and then distilled the beer into vodka, gin, and whiskey,” Parker noted.

  Positive customer feedback led Parker and Nutt to conclude they could produce quality spirits without following traditional distilling techniques. For example, brewers turned distillers such as Parker and Christian Krogstad, founder of House Spirits Distillery in Portland, Oregon, use yeasts and grains that are utilized by many craft brewers but not found in spirits produced by traditional distillers.

  Also, Copperworks is one of the few distilleries that produces a sanitary fermentation—the way breweries do—by boiling their wash for an hour. This process drives off some of the water thereby concentrating the sugar content and sanitizes the wash. When fermented with brewer’s yeast, this produces clean fruity and floral flavors, rather than the sour flavors produced by traditional methods. “All brewers know that boiling their wash kills bacteria and wild yeasts and results in a beer that tastes better and lasts longer. But if you do this for a distilled spirit, it results in new flavors and aromas, unlike the tastes of traditional spirits.” In addition, they leave unfermented sugars in their fermenters, which when distilled and barreled, produces a sense of sweetness in their spirits that’s more commonly associated with craft beers.

Beer and Whiskey Pairings  

  In Parker’s estimation, hops can be so dominant in beer that one cannot discern the beer’s base malt flavor. Hence, his preference when pairing whiskey and beer is to drink a beer low enough in hops so that he can taste the malt. “If I’m lucky enough, I can drink the beer followed by the whiskey being made from this beer,” he states. In particular, Parker loves beer cocktails such as those made at the Seattle based Pike Brewing Company’s seafood restaurant Tankard & Tun which features cocktails made with Pike Brewing’s beer and Copperworks spirits. Beer can provide the sparkling effervescence in cocktails normally obtained via Prosecco or carbonated water along with some sweetness and spice (hops). Parker notes that these cocktails aren’t often on most cocktail menus as this isn’t a skill set practiced by most bartenders. “The challenge is to use a small enough amount of beer to turn it into an effervescent cocktail without having it become a boozy beer,” he opines.

  Saxon is always inclined to start with pale ales and IPAs for their whiskies. “Many of our products have a creamy character thanks to American oak maturation and this mellows the hoppy bite of the beer. Equally, the citrus and tropical flavors of these brews can pull out the subtle fruit notes concealed within the whiskies we use.” Among their favorite pairings included The Spice Tree with a brown ale from the Kernel Brewery, based – like us – in London that was malty, toffee-sweet and richly nutty all at once. So flavorsome and just deliciously pleasurable. “Definitely a boilermaker for the autumn,” Saxon mused. 

  Wanderback (Hood River, OR) chief whiskey maker, Phil Downer prefer their malt forward whiskey paired with a brown ale, porter, or stout. “The malted barley we use for our whiskey are similar to the malts used to make these beers, so they are an easy pairing.  I should generally pair a lighter beer like a pilsner or lager with a lighter whiskey, like a Crown Royal Rye or lighter bourbon.” A purist Downer prefers to sample beer and whiskey separately. “I like them usually on their own to appreciate all the fun things going on in each.”

Trends in Distillery Building and Design:

Operational Efficiency With Pleasing Aesthetics

By: Gerald Dlubala

Successful distillery designs serve the distiller’s needs while also projecting the brand’s intended personality and image. However, getting to that point can make even the most organized person a little overwhelmed. The key to realizing that goal is working with experienced builders, engineers and architects who ask the right questions and guide you through the process, considering your current and future needs.

“It’s about your dreams and visions for sure,” said Dan Nyberg, sales trainer for Morton Buildings. “But it’s also about your budget constraints. That’s where experience in distillery planning, design and building comes in – to build a place that delivers the feel and image you want. There are quality options out there. Do you want the popular barn-type setting? Anything except a barn-type setting? Older and rustic? Modern and contemporary? Pitched roofs are popular simply because the distilling columns are tall and need that height. Sometimes they’re taller than the original facility design. In those cases, rather than coming back down on the opposite side, we continue the roof’s pitch upwards, creating a higher-pitched side to fit the equipment. This design keeps aesthetic balance while keeping in mind future equipment or expansion needs.”

The pandemic demonstrated the usefulness of versatile spaces, creating an increased demand for those that flow seamlessly between indoors and outdoors and offer customization if needed. For distilleries, this translates into designs with multi-use porches and patios that naturally transition between indoors and outdoors to increase space when required.

“The challenges here, of course, are the primary budget constraints and location-specific code restrictions that tell you if something can or can’t be done in the manner you want,” said Nyberg. “But something like the full glass overhead doors that raise and transform a separated venue into one large indoor/outdoor setting are popular amenities that allow the accommodation of different sized crowds for different events. Whether we’re still talking about Covid, changing weather situations or just the ability to appeal to the folks that want to feel like they’re outside without sitting in scorching hot weather, every bit of space must be functional and versatile.”

Earth-friendly Materials, Sustainability & Solar energy

More than ever, craft producers are incorporating sustainability and earth-friendly habits into their production process. That type of conscientious thinking goes into building design, too, especially if it’s part of a distiller’s image. For example, Morton Buildings uses wooden columns, framing and trusses that provide a 100-foot span of clear space width within the building design. Their hybrid design features wood columns, structures and walls that attach to steel trusses, increasing a building’s clear width span up to 150-feet for an even more significant amount of floor plan flexibility.

“Wood is the ultimate renewable resource and a great insulator,” said Nyberg. “One inch of softwood provides an R-value of 1.25 insulation. Blast furnace manufactured steel uses 80-90% recycled steel content. We offer our one-piece energy performer insulation to fill and eliminate cold spaces. Combine all of these elements, and you have a distillery design with a true identity of building sustainably.”

Solar energy is growing in popularity, but mostly in incentive-based areas. Nyberg told Beverage Master Magazine that incentives allow the builder to recover the higher initial installation costs more quickly. It can be a lengthy recovery period otherwise. If solar energy is in the plans, the builder has to be made aware of it well ahead of construction during the initial design process.

“There is the obvious increased weight issue that has to be considered and addressed upfront,” said Nyberg. “It gets factored in with the other installed weight-bearing items that affect the load on the roof structure, like lighting and the type of sprinkler/fire systems used. It may even change your building’s overall orientation by looking at an east/west run with the pitch slope towards the south to get the maximum benefit from the sunlight.”

“Wastewater concerns are another location-specific code requirement,” said Nyberg. “Water runoff should always leave the property at the same rate it would if the new building and lots were not there. Detention pools are a common solution for this problem, and although there are different levels of codes, requirements and enforcement on this issue, we encourage businesses to conscientiously decide to be good neighbors and plan for it by adding it to their design. You don’t want to be the reason that others suffer because of the increased water flow due to your construction.”

How Big Can You Go?

Distillers need to be diligent about expected growth and build a distillery welcoming to future additions, including retail, restaurant and production areas. Otherwise, the potential for expensive mistakes multiplies.

“A distiller has to be realistic in the operations area of distilling along with the brand image that they want to project,” said Nyberg. “You never want to get into a project only to discover a high-priced issue that requires additional resources from your lender. You absolutely need an accessible receiving area, big enough to handle your needs, yet somewhat hidden from your distillery’s other, more public spaces. You need to know what equipment you will be using, including the square footage and height requirements. Retail space is nice to have but nicer if it’s separated from any restaurant or bar area. Even though the customers are buying your products, you don’t want them wandering through the bar or dining area to do so.”

“And now, most distillers – and customers –prefer that visually appealing connection between the production areas and customer use areas. And why wouldn’t you? It’s all pretty cool equipment, and customers want to see the copper, brass and stainless involved in the columns, stills and valve mechanisms. We know that they’ll be spending money while they admire all of this great equipment, but again, you have to defer to local codes for the design. You’ll likely need a fire-rated wall between the two areas, and probably an explosion-proof one at that. Add in large glass viewing areas, and you have a situation that must be well designed and planned to code.”

Seek Out Experience and Plan for Success

Nyberg said that first and foremost, it’s essential to work with a qualified, experienced distillery builder that fulfills your vision and offers a range of options. Then you contact your local permit authority for the specific steps needed to proceed and the correct path for the building team to take. For example, will subcontractors be allowed to formulate their plans and designs, or are you building in a highly permitted area where the entire project is documented and signed off on by a single qualified lead-engineer before any construction occurs? It varies in different regions, and you and the builder need to know.

“Some of the best advice I can give to potential distillery builders, and I’ve seen a lot of them, is to always plan for the best possible outcome of your business,” said Nyberg. “Plan for expansions in production, retail and even dining areas, and then design your space accordingly. Will you want to offer space for future events like private tastings, business or club meetings, weddings or anniversaries? Sketch these areas into your initial design, including all the necessary utilities, even if you’re not building those areas right now. There is nothing worse than trying to piece together expansions while keeping operations running. If the original plans include sketches of these areas, your building will be ready to accommodate the additions with the least amount of disruption possible. Patrons will be excited to see expansion happen in an organized way that allows them to witness the improvements while keeping your normal operations humming along at the same time. They’ll come back to see the progress, anticipate the opening dates, and think about what the changes mean for them as a customer. They’ll share your enthusiasm over the expansion rather than your frustration over trying to negotiate your place of business through a remodel, when they may decide to stay away until the remodel is complete.”

Including Engineers Early in the Process is Critical

“Engineers want and need to be included in the initial phase of design and planning,” said C.J. Archer, Vice President of Marketing for VITOK Engineers. VITOK Engineers have completed over 300 distillery projects, from new complex design through distillery additions. “When designing a distilling space, everything is dictated by your targeted volume of proofed product. If we know your production goals, we can determine the production rate needed to get that volume. Then we can evaluate the process and flow required with the appropriate instrumentation and controls. Then, after customer approval, we specifically look at the structure and utilities. Now we can provide the distiller and architects detailed information on the amount of space and the size of the building needed to meet those production goals while remaining aware of the process and utility requirements, the equipment and vessel specifications, and the necessary safety and code protocols.”

Archer told Beverage Master Magazine that the distillery’s geographic location usually helps determine the look, feel and branding image of the distillery and the product. For example, rural Texas distilleries look different from a modern metropolitan or urban location, and the brand image is usually marketed in the same way.

Include Visual Aesthetics and Alternate Income Sources

“What we have been noticing is the trend of utilizing the distillery equipment as a feature of the visitor experience,” said Archer. “The still, fermenters and all process equipment become integral to the visual experience and become central to the distillery’s design. The distiller must remember, though, that location-specific codes and safety regulations always have something to do with how far any distiller can go with this idea. Still, overall, visual integration is important.”

“We also see distillery designs drawn up to include alternative types of income-producing activities like coffee shops, retail and brand marketing areas, and event spaces. We know bourbon has to be aged for a minimum of three years before it can be bottled, so unless the distiller can just sit and wait, they have to generate income in other ways. Of course, they can always buy whiskey and sell or blend it as their own during the initial aging period, but they can also produce less time-consuming spirits, like gin, moonshine or rum. They can put on and hold special events and, of course, market their brand’s swag.”

Distillery expansion is always on the minds of any distiller. Moving from a batch distillation to continuous distillation puts the distiller in an immediate position to sell spirits on the wholesale market. Archer said that distillery expansion is typical, and the key to successful growth is having the space for the additional equipment, fermentation and grain storage. It’s better and more valuable to consider the aspects of expansion upfront in your design because it’s almost always cheaper and more cost-effective to expand within an established building rather than building a new addition.

The Green Aspect

“There have been recent trends toward a more environmentally responsible mentality with green designs, carbon capturing or building to optimize the use of gravity in the flow of the distilling process,” said Archer. “We’ve been asked to engineer around all aspects of renewable energy, including wind, solar and geothermal energy solutions, while also considering CO2 emission reduction or collection for repurposing purposes. Fermenters naturally give off CO2, as does the spent grain. We’ve seen a movement to capture and compress that CO2 and market it to soft drink and similar use companies. Building so that your production process is mostly powered by gravity, similar to the process used in moonshining days, is another option. Stillage has become a big issue for distillers. Large quantities are produced with dwindling opportunities for recycling or disposal. Sending it down the sewer is expensive, and because of the boom in craft spirit production, some areas are producing too much of it, even for animal feedstock. The green aspect is very appealing upfront. Everyone wants to do it, but without any incentives, it is cost-prohibitive for the craft distiller, so ultimately, only a few actually have the means to do it.”

Perfecting Your Product is Key

“A successful distillery design starts with the product itself,” said Archer. “The first thing to do is produce a good product at the target quantity goals according to your business plan. From an engineering perspective, you need to know the process requirements to produce that product consistently. You must then consider code requirements, safety regulations and ease of operation. This method delivers process repeatability and savings in manpower through possible automation. After you perfect your product and process, you can focus on building the visitor experience. Historically, if you try to do this in reverse, you’ll have problems, and in today’s distillery, you need operational efficiency along with an aesthetically pleasing visitor experience. There’s an inherent tourism aspect to distillery life in the modern marketplace.”

Spirit Hound Distillers: In Relentless Pursuit of Quality

By: Nan McCreary

Hound dogs are famous for their amazing and relentless ability to follow a scent to the end. For head distiller Craig Engelhorn and his partners, who opened Spirit Hound Distillers  in 2012, choosing the hound dog as their namesake was only fitting for their pursuit of quality as Lyons Colorado’s first craft distillery.

Inspired by their love of whisky and their home state, the friends set out to create an all-malt, 100% Colorado whisky. Their journey began with a search for property in their hometown of Lyons. They found an ideal setting — along one of the two main routes to Rocky Mountain National Park, with heavy summer traffic — but the owner balked at their offer. Undaunted, they negotiated for a year and a half until, finally, they were able to secure the property.

  But that was just the beginning. As a former brewer at Oskar Blue Grill & Brew in their hometown, Engelhorn knew how to ferment malted barley, but he faced two challenges:  First, he needed equipment, and secondly, he needed base product. Both were in short supply, considering limited resources.

  After substantial research, Engelhorn convinced his partners to buy copper and the tools to hand-build a custom copper pot still following the traditional specifications used in Scottish whisky production. “I looked at pictures of stills, and designed an amalgam, limited only by my ability to fabricate metal,” Engelhorn told Beverage Master Magazine. “Our spirits still is a 150-gallon pot still with a tall, tapered column, and makes delicious spirits.”

  The search for product was no less daunting. “In a nod to Scottish tradition, we wanted peat-smoked malt for our grain,” Engelhorn said. “One of our tenets was to use all local products. While Colorado has many barley farms, we only found one that used peat to smoke their malt, Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa.” Spirit Hound Distillers  has been using Colorado Malting Company’s peated malt since the beginning and is now their biggest customer for the product.

  With equipment and product in hand, Spirit Hound Distillers was able to begin producing malted whiskey, but there was just one problem:  Like a lot of start-up distilleries, they could not afford to wait for the whisky to provide cash flow to keep them afloat. Again, like the spirit of the hound dog, they were relentless: In 2012, they celebrated their grand opening with an 84-proof Classic Gin infused with local, fresh-picked juniper berries, a product that is still popular today. At the same time, they picked up a decaf coffee liqueur called Richardo’s, a homemade recipe that was created years ago by a few Lyons locals. While Spirit Hound Distillers did not own the product, sales helped keep the coffers full until they could release the malt whisky. Spirit Hound Distillers also crafted a   Sambuca-style anise liquor, rum and an un-aged version of its whisky called White Dog Moonshine.

  While Spirit Hound Distillers settled in for the long haul and waited for their prized whisky to age, disaster struck the small town of Lyons: The Colorado Floods of 2013. “We were only about eight or nine months old,” Engelhorn remembered, “when monsoons in the mountains sent water ripping through our little town. I was trapped in the distillery at the time with one and a half-foot of water, but I stayed put because I was surrounded by a river and was afraid to get out.”  As a result of the flood, Spirit Hound Distillers lost raw materials, including malted barley, sugar and labels, and some product. The building was not damaged, but had to be stripped to the studs, dried and sanitized. Again, the Spirit Hound Distillers folks were undeterred: They salvaged a half-submerged barrel of 150-proof rum, labeled it Flood Rum, and sold it as a vehicle for raising funds to rebuild the District’s Lyons Fire Station #2 which was destroyed in the flood. “This was a silver lining in the storm for us,” Engelhorn reflected. “We raised $10,000 for the fire department, plus we got some good press.”

  Finally, in 2015, after years of planning and overcoming obstacles, Engelhorn and his partners released long-awaited bottles from five, 53-gallon oak barrels of Straight Malt Whisky filled prior to the historic floods. The bottles quickly sold out. At the time of release, Spirit Hound Distillers was probably one of only three makers of malt whisky in Colorado.

  Today, Straight Malt Whisky is the distillery’s flagship product. Barley is both grown and malted in Alamosa, with addition of a small amount of peated malt to give the whisky a Scottish twist. The product is double-distilled in two copper pots: In the first distillation, the wash is run through a washing or stripping still to separate the alcohol and other flavorful compounds; In the second distillation, the procedure is more refined, designed to slowly eliminate harmful impurities in the heads and tails, keeping only the middle. The whisky then ages for a minimum of two years in new-full-sized charred American oak barrels. According to Engelhorn, peat-smoked malt gives their malt whisky a smoky, earthy character, like a Highland-style scotch. “We compare well with Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky,” he said.

  Spirit Hound Distillers Single Malt Whisky goes into barrel at 125 proof and, because of Colorado’s high altitude, water evaporates faster than alcohol, so the whisky comes out at 127 to 130 proof. “I appreciate the high proof,” Engelhorn told Beverage Master Magazine, “because you get enhanced esters and aldehydes, which add flavor to the whisky.”  All whiskeys are cut to 90 proof before bottling, except for their Cask Strength Malt Whisky, which is only available in 375mL bottles in the tasting room.

  As an added distinction, Spirit Hound Distillers does not blend barrels: All whiskeys or whiskies are bottled as single barrel batches, with each bottle marked with a barrel and bottle number. According to Engelhorn, this allows consumers to experience the many nuances that make each barrel unique. “We offer flights from four different barrels in our tasting room so customers can experience these nuances. Rather than make a standardized product, we embrace the differences, and because we’re a small distillery we can have more variation coming from small malt houses than the large guys can have.”

  Spirit Hound Distillers also produces — as a special release — a bottled in bond malt whiskey; a designation created in 1897 to protect the industry from unscrupulous producers of poor alcohol. With this designation, whisky (of any grain) must be aged at least four years, not altered by any means other than filtration, reduced in proof to exactly 100 proof and produced by one distiller at a single distillery in one season. “Bottled in bond whiskeys or whiskies  are kind of rare,” Engelhorn said, “so for a small distillery, this makes an important statement. Unless you know what to look for on the label, you may not know the source of what you are drinking. With a bottled-in-bond label, you know exactly where it comes from.”

  In addition to its Straight Malt Whisky and its Cask Strength Malt Whisky, Spirit Hound Distillers also creates a Colorado Honey Whisky. In partnership with a local apiary, Bee Squared, the distillery provides the apiary with spent malt whisky barrels, and the apiary uses them to age raw honey, rotating the barrel once a day. When the apiary empties the honey, they give the barrels back to Spirit Hound Distillers, who then age their malt whisky in the honey barrel for an additional 90 days. According to Engelhorn, the whisky compliments the natural honey in the barrel, and adds a touch of sweetness. The Colorado Honey Whisky is a limited production because honey is not always available. It is easily the distillery’s best seller, Engelhorn said.

  Spirit Hound Distillers also produces rum, vodka, liquors and three styles of gin. The distillery uses fresh Rocky Mountain water to cut the proof. “The water makes a difference,” Engelhorn told Beverage Master Magazine. “We’re in the St. Vrain Watershed, and the water is naturally delicious. We use it right as it comes in: We do not have to chemically adjust it or filter it. It’s low in minerals and gives our spirits a soft mouthfeel and some sweetness.” The distillery also uses locally sourced juniper for their gins, and has a deal with locals that if they bring in fresh berries, they will receive a free drinks or bottle depending on how much they bring in.

  After 10 years, the folks at Spirit Hound Distillers have clearly succeeded in their mission to produce high-quality hand-crafted spirits. Average production is seven barrels, or 53 gallons a month, with an annual case production of 6,000-7000 bottles. With 14 employees, the distillery has distribution in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas. “We’re in the business of fun,” Engelhorn said. “If we’re not having fun doing our jobs, we’re missing something.”

  While Engelhorn can take pride in his accomplishments, he is not resting on his laurels, and, in true hound dog fashion, is always ready to overcome whatever challenge comes his way. In fact, such a challenge hit in 2020 when the state shut down the distillery (among other facilities) because of COVID. But once again, Engelhorn and crew turned lemon into lemonade: they converted vodka-like spirits into disinfectant sanitizer and distributed it to first responders, healthcare workers, public servants, and local businesses. “Again, this was a silver lining for us,” Engelhorn said. “The tasting room was closed, but if they came in here to pick up hand sanitizer— one customer at a time — they would often buy whiskey while they were here.”

In the meantime, Engelhorn hopes to expand regional distribution, as he would like Spirit Hound Distillers to be known as one of the most premium products coming out of Colorado. Judging by the past— and the relentless spirit of the hound dog— odds are likely that he will achieve that goal.

For more information on Spirit Hound Distillers, visit… www.spirithound.com

Lots, Codes, and Life: Dating in the Beer Industry

By: Erik Myers

As the number of active breweries in the country exceeds 7000 and roars toward 8000, it’s more important than ever to consider one of the crucial facets of your packaged product: shelf life, and how to communicate it to your customer. It’s not just marketing; date lot coding and traceability is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. However, the exact method of recording date lot codes is ultimately up to each individual brewer, and there is a vast array of practices in the industry that can ensure that your customer knows how fresh your beer is, and that you’re in compliance with federal code at the same time. 

Why Is Date Coding Important?

  The easiest answer to this question is because you must. It’s the law. In the unfortunate situation that your brewery – or one of your suppliers – might have to recall product from the market, having date lot coding that is on every package, is easy to find, and easy to understand will allow your staff and every downstream partner, whether it’s a distributor or a retailer, to comply with the recall efficiently and ultimately save you headaches and money.

  It’s also a great tool that your sales force–or your distributor–can use to be sure that beer in the market is as fresh as possible, it can help with FIFO inventory control and create an accountability tool for you to use with all of your downstream partners.

  Finally, it’s an extra layer of transparency for your customer, as well as an educational tool, allowing you to provide them with the best–and freshest–possible product, and the best possible customer experience.

How to Code

  For better or worse, there is no standard way or best practice guide to follow for date coding your beer. From a practical, legal standpoint, as long as there is a code on your package that is traceable to a batch at your particular factory and you can track that batch back to its component ingredients, you’ve complied with FDA standards. However, esoteric or confusing coding can be a problem in the marketplace and lacks customer transparency.

  Many food and beverage manufacturers use a Julian Code to signify what date an item was manufactured or packaged. Julian Code is a system designed by the U.S. Military to easily date MREs and is easy to track and assign with simple programming tasks. It uses the last digit of the year in question followed by the day of the year.  (For example, a product dated with December 15, 2018 the Julian Code would be 8349.  December 15 is the 349th day of the year in non-leap-years.)  While this provides a standard format that is unique per day and easily traceable on a package and within a database, it is not easy for a customer to read and gain information from. An eager beer drinker looking for a fresh IPA would have no way of knowing what information was being presented to them and might end up looking elsewhere.

  However, a standard date might not be the easy go-to answer that it seems. A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Harvard University’s Food and Law Policy Clinic (The Dating Game, 2013, NRDC) notes that confusing date labeling leads to a tremendous amount of food waste in the United States as “open dates can come in a dizzying variety of forms, none of which are strictly defined or regulated on a federal level” and that “although most date labels are intended as indicators of freshness and quality, many consumers mistakenly believe they are indicators of safety.” Putting information on your package that isn’t well thought out may create more harm than good.

Finding the Right Date

  Back in 1996, Anheuser-Busch launched a marketing campaign in a bid to show that their beer was the freshest on the market and coined the term, “Born on date.” It has become a ubiquitous term in the beer industry, regardless of the fact that the date was dropped from all Budweiser labeling in 2015 in favor of a “Freshest before” date. Just because the biggest brewery in the land does it hardly makes it an industry standard, however. It’s not even standard across their entire company.

  Megan Lagesse of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s “The Higher End” craft division notes, “Some of [our] partners (Goose Island, [and] Wicked Weed) are doing dual date coding (brewed on and best by) but everyone isn’t because not all of our production equipment has the capability to dual date code,” she says. “So, we chose best by date coding [for] broader consistency, because everyone understands an expiration date but not everyone is educated enough to know IPAs should be drank as fresh as possible, but you can age wild beers and stouts.”

  Jeremy Danner, Ambassador Brewer of Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing, notes proudly that Boulevard prints, “both packaged on and best by dates on all cans, bottles, keg rings and exterior boxes. If you’re going to only print one,” he says, “it should be the packaged-on date, as thoughts vary when it comes to shelf life.”

  That shelf life–the basis of rationale behind a best by date–can be difficult, if not impossible, for a small brewery to determine. While larger breweries have the benefit of tasting panels, labs, and a vast number of data points, many small breweries get by with a microscope and a handful of jack-of-all-trade production team members. In small breweries, with limited, sometimes unique, production batches, shelf life is often the product of an educated guess, rather than a robust statistically significant tasting panel. Even pressure from a distributor can affect what date goes onto a package and in many cases a brewer will resort to relying on a packaged-on date and using phrases like, “Do not age” or “Best when its fresh” in lieu of a best by date.

  Doing so, however, relies on the customer to be educated about your product, and that might not always be as easy as it sounds. Pete Ternes of Chicago’s Middle Brow beer notes, “90% of consumers don’t know what it means for a particular beer to have been packaged on a particular date.” While there are many craft beer fans who are incredibly well-educated and can ascertain which beer styles can handle age and which can’t, most beer-drinkers don’t know the implications of a beer’s brewed or packaged-on date.

  Complicating the issue is lack of consistent temperature control once product leaves the brewery. A brewery may post a shelf life of 45 days for an IPA, but not the conditions under which that shelf life has been ascertained or should be maintained. A beer with a shelf life of 45 days at 38F has a shelf life of only 11 days at room temperature.

No Easy Answers

  Unfortunately, until an industry standard or federal regulation is put into place, there is no easy answer about how to best approach lot and date coding. Ultimately, it is up to you to choose the method that you think will both comply with the FDA and provide information to your customers. Regardless of what format you do choose, providing context and information to your customers–whether that customer is the distributor, the retailer, or the end consumer–as to how you arrived at the decision of what lot and date coding method you’ve chosen is the best path and can double as an excellent marketing and education tool for your brewery.

Spirit of the Rising Sun

By: Tod Stewart

Japan is synonymous with many things: electronics, cars, origami, sake, sushi, intricate art, Sumo wrestling and architecture. Now, if you’re willing to wait out a significant chunk of your day for it, cheesecake.  But whisky?

  Even after seeing Lost in Translation many years ago (a movie featuring Bill Murray as Bob Harris, an aging movie star visiting Japan to promote Suntory whisky), the connection between Japan and whisky still didn’t really register with me. Thankfully that has since changed, and I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying numerous different Japanese whisky expressions, both at home as well as in Japan.

  Today, these drams are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and when you do find one you might experi-ence a bit of sticker shock. However, as with most things Japanese, you do get what you pay for (and here I’m primarily talking about the items I have tried: sake, sushi, Japanese knives, etc.). The Japanese whiskies I’ve sampled have invariably been top-notch. And much to the chagrin of the Scots, they’ve actually been stealing accolades from the world’s top drams.

  A few years back, in his World Whisky Bible 2015, industry expert Jim Murray crowned the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013, from Suntory, “World Whisky of the Year.” As it turns out, nary a Scottish whisky made the top five. Since then, Japanese whiskies have continued to bag metal at competitions across the globe (in fact, they were garnering “best of” accolades as far back as 2008). If there’s any consolation to the Scottish distillers now adding tears rather than water to their tipples, it’s that, had it not been for the Scots, the Japanese would likely not be where they are today in terms of distilling.

  Japan has a distilling history that may reach as far back as the 1700s. Yet it wasn’t until after the Second World War that Shinjiro Torii along with Masataka Taketsuru, established the Yamazaki Distillery, which would eventually become Suntory, near Kyoto. In 1918, Taketsuru journeyed to Scotland. He enrolled in the University of Glasgow, becoming the first Japanese person to study the art of whisky making and apprenticed at a number of famous Scottish malt distilleries before bringing his knowledge (and a wife) back to Japan.

  In 1934, Taketsuru branched out on his own, establishing the Nikka Whisky company with a distillery located in Yoichi, on the island of Hokkaido, in the northern part of the country.

  This area seemed, to him, to most closely replicate the Scottish landscape. Japan’s “whisky country” however, is less differentiated than those of Scotland.

  “Although Japan may look like a small island on the map, if you compare it with the map of Scotland at the same scale, you will notice that the nation is much larger and is spread from North to South,” notes Naoki Tomoyoshi, International Business Development Representative for Nikka Whisky. “The climate can vary from the famous skiing resorts in Hokkaido to the beautiful beaches of Okinawa. Within this country, Nikka’s founder Masataka Taketsuru headed north in search for the ideal place for his whisky. He found the land of Yoichi to be the perfect place, a seaside location with a cool and humid climate along with an ideal water source. Then, in 1969, he founded his second distillery, Miyagikyo Distillery, in the mountainous valleys of Miyagi Prefecture, located in the northern part of Japan’s main island. His aim was to create a different style of whisky than that of Yoichi Distillery. The surrounding environment plays an important role in the maturation process, and when that is combined with the different production methods between the two distilleries, the variation of the flavors that can be created is countless.”

  Gardner Dunn, Senior Brand Ambassador at Suntory Japanese Whisky, notes that rather than defined re-gions, the elevation of the Suntory distilleries and the subsequent differences in temperature have more of an impact on the final products.

  “Yamazaki, outside Kyoto, sits at around 160 feet above sea level,” he points out. “Hakushu is one of the highest distilleries, at roughly 2,313 feet in Yamanashi prefecture. The difference in temperature between the two dictates the use of certain sized barrels to optimize maturation.” Dunn explains that as the temperature drops, the rate of maturation slows. Therefore, spirits matured in warmer climates – rum, for example – devel-op more quickly than northern spirits, largely due to the rate of evaporation.

  The proximity to the sea — just a kilometre from the Sea of Japan — and the influence of the salty ocean air, appreciably contributes to maritime tang of Nikka’s Yoichi line of whiskies. I recently sampled a dram or two of Nikka Yoichi (No Age Statement) Single Malt, which seemed to combine the warm, toffee, malt and hon-eyed tones of a Highland malt with the smoky, lemony and in this case, rather intensely briny notes more typ-ical of something like Bunnahabhain’s Ceobanach — a peated offering from a distillery that typically doesn’t use peat.

  The peat used in Nikka’s whiskies was sourced locally until the 1970s. Today the distillery uses imported barley peated to the required levels. Dunn confirms that Suntory, as well, imports barley from Scotland that has been peated to a specified degree. As well, both Nikka and Suntory strive to use the purest water available.

  “The main source of water for Nikka’s Yoichi Distillery is from the mountain springs and surrounding rivers, in particular the Yoichi River,” Tomoyoshi points out, adding that water for the Miyagikyo Distillery is sourced from the Nikkawa River. Dunn reveals that both of Suntory’s distilleries use unique water sources. “Our beau-tiful, soft water is optimal for producing [our] style of whisky.”

  In terms of casks, Suntory and Nikka have somewhat similar approaches. “We both import and make our casks,” informs Tomoyoshi. “We have a cooperage in each distillery maintaining casks of different sizes and types of wood. We also source various types of casks from around the world, including ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. All refurbishing and re-charring of the casks are done in-house in our cooperages.”

  Suntory uses a range, from ex-bourbon to American white oak and Spanish oloroso sherry casks. The company’s in-house cooperage also fashions barrels from Japanese Mizunara oak. “It is a very tight-grained oak that only grows in the North Island,” Dunn explains, noting that it matures very slowly and imparts notes of oriental incense, spice and coconut to the finished whisky.

  When it comes to whisky, distillers know that the shape and size are crucial in forming the character of the finished product. The copper pot stills used by Nikka Whisky were crafted in Japan and are of varying sizes. “All stills are slightly different from each other, which enable us to produce a wider variety of styles,” informs Tomoyoshi. “In general, the stills at Yoichi Distillery are smaller, with a straight neck and descending line arm. The stills at Miyagikyo are larger, with a bulge neck and ascending line arm.”

  Suntory operates two sets of eight distinctly shaped stills. As any distiller will attest, the size and shape of a still significantly impacts the spirit it produces, and the varying sizes employed by Nikka and Suntory no doubt play a role in crafting the unique character of the individual whiskies.

  While Japan’s whiskies have experienced a spike in popularity, the industry itself, like those in other countries, has weathered ups and downs. The whisky boom of the 1970s and early 1980s gave way to a slump in domestic whisky sales by the late ’80s, resulting in the closure of several distilleries. However, the international acclaim Japanese whiskies have since garnered has led to a resurgence in interest. A lot of interest, in fact. In the case of Nikka, a few factors combined to create the perfect storm surge of popularity. A surge so strong that it resulted in the discontinuation of age-statement whiskies.

  “We delisted most of our age-statement expressions in 2016,” confirms Tomoyoshi confirms. “This was due to many factors, such as the Nikka 80th anniversary in 2014 along with strong – yet organic – growth in foreign markets. Above all, the most impactful factor was the domestic Nikka fever caused by the NHK TV series Massan. This was unpredictable and sudden.”

  Massan was an Asadora – a “morning drama” – that ran from September 29th, 2014, until March 28th, 2015. Based on the lives of Masataka Taketsuruand and his Scottish wife Jessie Roberta “Rita” Cowan, it detailed the creation of Nikka Whisky…and landed a huge audience not only for the series, but for Nikka’s whiskies as well.

  Though they may currently be a little scarce in some international markets, Japanese whiskies are worth pursuing. They offer the best qualities of their Scottish counterparts — including complexity, harmony and great depth of character — along with certain exotic aspects that distinguish them as unique, different, and worthy of the accolades they have garnered both in the Far East and around the globe.

The Charismatic Spirit: The Heat of Jamaican Rum

By: Hanifa Sekandi

It is a warm summer night in Montego Bay. The sound of the ocean, the harmonious steel drums, sand beneath your toes, and laughter allow you to forget your worries while you clutch your cocktail in one hand. You have most likely never given much thought to that velvety smooth texture and golden color, the fermented by-product of sugarcane. It’s the drink that is unequivocally the life of the party. So infamous it deserves a special place in your holiday baked goods: rum. There is no better way to describe Jamaican-made rum than simply sublime.

  For some, it is the best accompaniment for plantain, callaloo, ackee and saltfish. Perhaps you prefer it while you dine on curry goat or spicy jerk chicken? It is the spirit that is bar-none, best sipped on the rocks. You feel the heat of this distilled spirit immediately pulsing through your entire body with just one sip. Rum, a Jamaican classic spirit with deep historic roots enlivens you and exhilarates you. You can fuss with it, add a little this or a little that but, rum revelers know it’s simply good just the way it is. What makes Jamaican rum so good?

  As you sample your way through the best of Jamaican rum you will learn quite quickly that each rum carries its own secret. This is why so many bar carts around the world carry more than one from a few of Jamaica’s acclaimed rum estates.

The Beginning of Jamaican Rum

  It was Christopher Columbus, in 1494, who brought sugarcane to the shores of Jamaica. This birthed an industry that although not as robust in size as it once was, still thrives today. With all things good, there is another side that is not as sweet. The production of rum in Jamaica began in 1655. It was brought over by British colonialists who imported the art of rum-making from Barbados. Under British rule, rum was made by the hands of enslaved labor. The mass production of rum during this time in Jamaica led to its popularity around the world. There were approximately 148 rum distilleries in Jamaica in 1893. When slavery was abolished in the 1800s the free and now finally autonomous rum laborer, was free to live as one should. This emancipation led to a decline in rum production.

  Where is rum today in Jamaica? In 1893 approximately 31, 555 acres of sugarcane was cultivated by sugar estates that housed and operated distilleries. Even with the reduction of the scale of production and rum mills, Jamaica produces 50 million liters of rum yearly. With only six remaining rum distilleries sugarcane, the oldest running industry in Jamaica is still a predominant labor source with the employment of over 50,000 people. Jamaican rum makers produce large and diverse varieties of rum that are distributed around to world to more than 70 countries. The six remaining rum distilleries are Worthy Park Estate, Appleton Estate, Long Pond Distillery, Clarendon Distillery, and Innswood Distillers Limited. The later three distilleries are owned by the National Rums of Jamaica.

Making Jamaican Rum

  Who knew sugarcane is the key ingredient to this deep rich spirit? With no sweetness on the palate when sipped that one would discern if they chewed on sugarcane. The process of making Jamaican rum is quite intriguing. Molasses, partially responsible for rums golden color is a sweet syrup with a thick consistency. Perhaps you have used it as an alternative sweetener. Blackstrap molasses is full of minerals and vitamins. With that said, a shot of

rum is not your new multivitamin replacement! This rich thick sweet syrup comes to life when sugarcane juice is boiled until it is crystallized and then fermented. In the case of gold-hued rums, the color begins to take hold by using oaken casks to age the clear liquid which turns color due to the tannins from the oak. On average Jamaican rums age close to seven years. A process that differs when making another popular spirit, white rum.

  Deeper-toned rums are made from the dunder or skimmings from vats used to boil the sugar and molasses. What makes each rum unique are the expertly blended elements that will determine the flavor profile and aromas. For example, the addition of caramel when aging commences creates a silkier and darker liquor. It’s these little nuances that create a vast difference between one rum to another although they may appear similar in appearance.

  A full-bodied rum is aged in casks that have great depth and are large in size. These casks, “puncheons”, can hold approximately 111.6 gallons. The difference between light and full-bodied rums is fermentation. In the case of full-bodied rum, slow fermentation is required, and this is referred to as wild fermentation. Light-bodied rum mostly produced in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico undergoes a process called cultured fermentation where yeast is derived from raw material. The aging period for these lighter-colored and dry rums is under four years. In some cases, light-bodied rums are aged for only one year.

Who Is Joy Spence?

The First Woman Master Blender?

  Appleton Estates is the oldest sugar estate and one of Jamaica’s six thriving rum distilleries. It is where Joy Spence, their Chief Chemist since 1981 and the first woman Master Blender, has been

making her incomparable mark in the global rum market. She has a Masters’ degree in Analytical Chemistry from Loughborough University. Spence was under the helm of the previous Appleton Estates Master Blender, Owen Tulloch for over 16 years who mentored her. During this time, she was able to use her passion for chemistry to become a world-renowned blender.

  In 1997 Spence, unbeknownst to her at the time, became the first woman master blender. At this time, there were no other women designated with this accolade. This show-stopping rum that Spence has been creating for over 35 years draws its sweet soft taste from the limestone-filtered spring water it uses from the Black River, the longest river in Jamaica. This distillery is located in a favorable area with limestone hills and an ecological system that works perfectly to nurture the abundance of greenery. Due to this natural irrigation sugarcane is easy to grow.

  Joy Spence is credited for masterfully blending two rums that made Appleton famous. The 8-Year-Old Reserve and “50-Year-Old which is according to Appleton Estates “the world’s oldest barrel-aged rum that has been bottled and sold. “The Appleton Estate 8-Year-Old Reserve, a full-bodied rum is probably one of the most recognized rum brands at your local liquor store. You have most like experienced its robust aroma and flavorful smooth notes. Sold at a price point that will make your jaw drop, something this good does not come cheap, the Appleton Estate 50 Year Old — Jamaica Independence Reserve rum by Spence will have you singing the best I ever had.

Notable Jamaican Rums

Appleton Estate 12-Year-Old Casks

Did you know the number on the front of the bottle is the number of years the rum has been aged? Yes, this is true. With so much variety offered by Appleton selecting your favorite rum is not an easy task. Once you have been introduced to one of their rums you will find yourself wanting to explore the entire repertoire. This 12-year aged rum has a smooth dark chocolate flavor and the sweet smell of almonds; you may catch hints of caramel. Best enjoyed on ice or just on its own. When you sip on one of these rums you are stepping into the magical world of Master Blender Joy Spence.

Worthy Park Single Estate Reserve

Rum-making began at this estate in 1741. Most people describe this rum’s flavor as earthy, citrusy, and spicy. An interesting combination that also includes other notes such as toffee, cinnamon, and cloves. Although it serves well on its own, it proves to be an excellent carrier of cocktails since it cuts through without overpowering other ingredients. Worthy Park Estates is a distillery that honors tradition and as a result, distill their rums in a traditional Jamaican Pot.

Hampden Estate Pure Single Jamaican Rum

Wild fermentation is the method used to make Hampden’s pure single rums. There is no sugar added during this process. Their Pure Single Jamaican rum aged for eight years carries a lot of heat. Its strong spicy, earthy herb-like taste with a touch of citrus, banana, and caramel strikes the palate with tremendous strength and also warms the senses. Serve over ice and sip slowly. This is the best way to go with this rum.

Long Pond Distillery — 18-Year-Old 2000 Mezan

Hopefully, the price tag does not scare you away from this vintage 18-year old Jamaican rum. This rum slowly ages and matures in a bourbon oak cask. As you can imagine, a lot of rich flavor and aromas embody this spirit. Its sharp ginger and tropical fruity notes along with a warm and spicy base create a nice finish.

Re-Opening After the Pandemic

By: Donald Snyder, President/Consultant, Time & Tasks

For the first time as an author, I hope this article does not age well. With a bit of luck, you are reading this article in a post pandemic world where these concerns are a thing of the past. That said, as I write this, the world is slowly recovering from a pandemic that had a devastating impact on the hospitality industry including craft distilleries large and small. As you begin to welcome visitors and bring back staff, here are some important and helpful tips when planning your reopening.

Advice from Distillers who have Re-opened

  Throughout the pandemic, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published fluid and ever-updating recommendations for operating a business to keep both employees and patrons safe. Suggestions like contactless payment, outdoor and reduced seating, staff and customer mask use, and social distancing were mandated to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread to keep businesses open, if only at a lower capacity. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus)

  However, the ultimate decision of whether a tasting room could re-open to the public was in the hands of local regulators. Every state had a different set of requirements for operating a business during the pandemic. Some states, like Florida, reopened and removed capacity limits very early in the pandemic as compared to New York City where most hospitality restrictions were not rescinded until the summer of 2021. Soon after the nation-wide lock down in the spring of 2020, some distilleries were able to re-open under various restrictions.

  Cardinal Spirits Distillery in Bloomington, IN was able to open in 2020 under pretty tight restrictions. The distillery opened for carryout bottle, food, and cocktail mixes only.  Additionally, they re-configured their front entry area into a curbside drive-by for order pickup. The state of Indiana did not permit cocktails-to-go so Cardinal Spirits developed hand labeled bottles of mixer kits that people could use to make cocktails at home. Using social media and on-line platforms, they maintained and increased customer engagement with distillery tours, cocktail classes, and even virtual tastings. They hope to fully re-open in Spring 2022 although they have recently re-opened their restaurant for in-distillery dining. Jeff Wuslich, co-founder and President of Cardinal Spirits, recalls his concerns with reopening. “We are most worried for our staff. We do not believe they should have to enforce mandates and safe behavior, but we know it will likely happen. It keeps me up at night. I believe that with our air circulation, safety protocols, and distancing we will all be safe, but I hate to think about our staff having to argue with customers.” Jeff offers this additional advice for distilleries thinking about their own re-opening. “Think of the customer and what experience you would like them to have. Then, work backward from there.” 

  Smooth Ambler Distillery in Maxwelton, WV was also impacted by COVID-19. At the beginning of pandemic, the entire distillery closed public-facing operations, including their gift shop and tours for about a month. During that time, they re-allocated their labor and resources into making hand sanitizer to be donated to front line workers across the country. Once they had a better understanding of the virus, they slowly reopened their production facility with a new set of rules that included social distancing, segregated teams, masks wearing, and frequent sanitization. Smooth Ambler’s continued priority is the safety of their employees and guests.

  They were cautious about reopening the tasting room. Many of their customers were from out of state so they initially re-opened to the public with curbside pickups only. A few months later, they opened with limited capacity and slowly increased indoor occupancy as the guidance from the state permitted. Masks, temperature checks, and hand sanitization were available for all guests. So far, the re-opening has been successful for Smooth Ambler as more and more people are beginning to travel again. Travis Hammond, Operations Manager of

  Smooth Ambler, cautions distillers not to be too hasty or rigid during their public reopening. “The past year has been very difficult on everyone – the best advice I can give to other distilleries that are about to reopen is to be patient and flexible.”

  Reopening slowly and cautiously with the appropriate safety protocols in place has given many distilleries across the country a beacon of hope that things can return to a sense of normalcy. However, even with the best precautions, there still can be issues. Asymptomatic employees and customers that spread the virus can be a serious risk to all parties involved. For those in the beverage industry, contracting COVID-19 can be especially dangerous as a possible long-term loss of taste and smell could impact a distiller’s ability to make and blend high quality spirits. In addition to transmission risks from reopening, there are also risks from patrons fighting required safety protocols.

  Golden Moon Distillery in Golden, Colorado experienced that firsthand when a customer refused to wear a mask and retaliated by shoving an employee. Physical altercations with employees about safety policies or verbally abusive customers are real risks that distillers need to consider when planning for a full or limited re-opening. Stephen Gould, Proprietor and Master Distiller of Golden Moon Distillery has made employee training a pivotal part of his re-opening plan. “We’ve coached our team members to be extremely polite and courteous when asking folks to wear masks. Our main concern is the safety of our staff and customers. Having said that, the one piece of advice I can give folks that are reopening is that they need to work hard to make both their staff and their customers feel safe.”

  Another consideration for reopening is how to deal with heavy foot traffic as people continue to feel more comfortable traveling. Large tourist areas like central Tennessee have many craft distilleries that offer tours, tastings, and spirits for every palate. Pigeon Forge, TN is in the gateway to Smoky Mountain National Park that sees over 10 million visitors per year. In the spring of 2020, when everything shut down, the owners of King’s Family Distillery in Pigeon Forge were understandably nervous. Like many distilleries, by taking advantage of small business loan programs and pivoting production to hand sanitizer for local consumption, they were able to stay afloat. Cara King, Owner of King’s Family Distillery, is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. “When our state began lifting restrictions in 2020, the people flooded back in.

  More than before, even. We took precautions, put up plexiglass, and welcomed the tourists, masks, and all. Our distillery has reached the other side of this epic world event bigger than we were before.”

Capital Investments and Infrastructure

  Safety protocols, standard operating procedures and thorough employee training are critical to a successful re-opening. However, some additional capital investment may be required. Dalkita, an engineering and architecture firm that assists distilleries with design, safety, and construction, was instrumental in helping businesses re-open.

  Colleen Moore, Director of Marketing & Operations for Dalkita, kept up to date with all the CDC recommendations, re-opening phases, and safety recommendations. Dalkita kept the distilling industry updated with recommended and required re-opening procedures via regular webinars and blog updates (https://www.dalkita.com/news/).

  The group quickly became aware that each state and jurisdiction had varying requirements for re-opening protocols, social distancing rules, seating capacity limits, and mask requirements.

  In terms of physical and capital improvements to the distillery’s public spaces, Colleen Moore from Dalkita has been advising distilleries what they should consider. “With COVID-19 in mind and trying to reduce the likelihood of a lockdown situation due to a highly communicable airborne disease from recurring, I would suggest upgrading ventilation inside buildings. Any feature that would increase the amount of outdoor air you can bring into a building such as window walls, roll-up glass garage doors, and new increased air handling units with better filtration media and filters.

  If cold, rainy, or snowy weather put a stop to your outdoor activities, consider adding flexible open courtyards or structures with roofs and no walls for use during inclement weather. Anything that can increase the health of the people using a facility is a good investment.”

  As I write the article, I fully acknowledge that regulations are still changing. I began writing this article in March of 2021 before the mass availability of COVID-19 vaccines while most distilleries were under 30-50% occupation and seating capacity. It is now July 2021. Some states are open 100% with no restrictions but the Delta variant is growing. The article will be published the Fall of 2021 and who knows how much the world will change by then.

  For distilleries reopening or increasing capacity in 2021 or early 2022, connect with local authorities for the latest restrictions. Make every effort to keep employees and guests safe. Then again, by the time you read this, hopefully the pandemic and social distancing will be just a distant memory as we all return to normal.

Legal Implications of Playing Music at Your Brewery

By: Tarah K. Remy, Dinsmore & Shohl, L.L.P.

Visiting a brewery is meant to be an experience, and customer engagement plays a large role in creating a great one. As the owner, you know your brews are unparalleled, and your goal is not only to share them, but to keep customers coming back. One way to do this is to establish an inviting atmosphere. In most cases, that involves music.

  Music and beer go way back. In 1800 B.C.E., the Sumerians composed the “Hymn to Ninkasi,” which served as not only a song of praise to their goddess of beer, but also as an ancient recipe for brewing.  So, it is safe to say when a customer walks into your brewery, they’ll expect to hear music playing over the loud speakers, or even to see a live band. However, there are serious intellectual property considerations every brewery must take into account when choosing music to create that perfect experience.

What the Copyright Act Protects

  As a general matter, the Copyright Act lays out the basic rights of a copyright owner. Among other things, it protects a songwriter’s and their publishers’ (the copyright holder) musical composition or written work, also known as a musical work. When a musical work is performed or broadcasted in a public space, the copyright holder is entitled to receive a performance royalty, which is the money paid to the copyright holder in exchange for the right to publicly perform their musical work.

Why Your Brewery Needs a Performance License to Play Music

  Copyright is a form of property, and once music is written down or recorded, it is copyrighted. The copyright holder is the owner of that copyright and is granted a performance right to the copyrighted materials. If you want to publicly perform a musical work, you need to pay a performance royalty to the copyright holder. The performance license acts as written permission to play a copyright holder’s musical work in a public space.

  Doing so without a performance license, (without legal permission) places your brewery at risk for litigation. Though the Copyright Act limits the award for copyright infringement to between $750 to $30,000, it is within the court’s discretion to award between $200 to $150,000, not including attorney’s fees and costs. Whether the court can increase or decrease the award depends on whether you knew you were violating copyright law. No matter the circumstance, if you violate copyright law, you will be required to pay, and the gamble of just how much is not worth the risk. Acquiring a license removes the guesswork and allows you to maintain control over your brewery’s finances.

When You Need to Consider Acquiring a Performance License

  You will need a performance license or permission from a copyright holder under at least the scenarios below:

1.  The musical work is played in your brewery using Spotify, Amazon music, Pandora, Apple Music, or any other streaming service. Though you are covered bunder your personal subscription to play music for yourself or in very small spaces, once you plug your device into a loud speaker to be played in a large space where a substantial number of people are present, this triggers the performance license requirement.

2.  The musical work is played in your brewery using CDs, records, or anything similar. Buying the CD or record does not count as obtaining a performance license. Once you decide to play your favorite CD or record inside your brewery to be heard by a substantial number of people, in most cases, you must obtain a performance license.

3.  A live band is hired to play covers of music originally written by a third party in your brewery. In this case, the venue, not the cover band, is required to acquire the performance license.. If you hire a band to play in your brewery and they plan to play covers, make sure your brewery has a performance license covering the songs on the band’s set list before hiring. Keep in mind, however, this generally does not apply if the band is playing music it has composed or is playing music in the public domain.

How to Obtain a Performance License

  Contact a Performance Rights Organization (PRO):  You can obtain a performance license through a Performance Rights Organization such as BMI , ASCAP, and SESAC. These entities function as middle men between the copyright holder and the entity acquiring the performance license. Given the rate at which music is played and experienced around the world, it is virtually impossible for copyright holders to keep track of performing rights. Acting as facilitators, PROs acquire rights from these copyright holders and grant a performance license covering their entire music set to businesses and requesting parties. So not only do PROs simplify the process for copyright holders to receive their performance royalties, but business owners no longer need to contact individual copyright holders to acquire performance licenses.

  Each PRO covers specific musical works by various copyright holders. By obtaining a performance license through just one PRO, you are limited to that PRO’s specific list of music. Be sure to review each list covered by each PRO to determine whether you need a license from one or all. You can also consider acquiring a blanket license that covers all three of the main PROs (BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC) to reduce the chance of potential copyright infringement claims from these organizations. A blanket license is convenient, as it likely covers a large list of music, which in turn reduces the need to carefully review a cover band’s set list and further gives you the freedom to stream music without a second thought.

  Sign Up for a Streaming Service Business Account:  Some streaming services, like Spotify and Pandora, offer business accounts. Simply by signing up and paying a subscription fee, business accounts provide access to fully licensed songs. Via their business platforms, these streaming services have obtained performance licenses from PROs on your behalf, and in most cases, they have performance licenses from more than one PRO, which broadens your music list options.

How much a Performance License will Cost

  The cost of obtaining a performance license through a PRO may vary depending on various factors, including how many breweries you have, the square footage of your brewery, your brewery’s customer capacity, how often music is played, whether the music is recorded or live, and more. The costs start at $500 and increase from there. Streaming service business account costs can be found directly on their websites, where they periodically provide discounts. At the end of the day, though obtaining a performance license may seem pricey or a low priority, the costs of arguing a copyright infringement claim are significantly higher. Budgeting in the cost of a performance license will save your brewery money in the long run.  Here is a link to help you learn more. https://www.bmi.com/digital_licensing/more-information/business_using_music_bmi_and_performing_rights

  Finally, keep in mind the Copyright Act covers exceptions to the performance license requirement, meaning it’s possible your brewery may not require a performance license. So before you sign up or register for anything, we always recommend reaching out to an attorney to review the performance license agreements and your circumstances. Additionally, if you are not sure whether your business meets the requirements, or whether your business might be exempt from the performance license requirement, for peace of mind, reach out to your attorney or the Dinsmore Beer, Wine and Spirits team. We are here to help!

An Ingredient For Success: Adding a Business Coach to Your Craft Beverage Company

By: Chris Mulvaney, President, CMDS Marketing Agency

So, you think you have it all. A great product, niche location, rockstar staff … ultimate success will no doubt come knocking at your door to order one of your specials. Right?

Well, maybe.

  Hard truth. When it comes to craft beverage marketing and branding, making those delicious bevvies is only half the battle. Many craft beverage companies that failed also had a great product, perfect location, and an awesome staff. So … why did they fail?

  For one, planning. Part of a craft beverage business is, well, the business. And while that part may not taste quite as good, it’s still a huge part of running and scaling your company so that it thrives for years to come.

  Planning your craft beverage business takes into consideration some very important components. Branding is one of them. If you don’t have solid branding, then you’ll have a tough time standing out in today’s crowded craft drink market.

While there was a time that breweries and distilleries could succeed without strong branding, much has changed. Today, statistics show that a new brewery opens up almost every day. That means crazy competition, and as a result, you really need strict branding and positioning in order to stand out. Without that, even the best product can get lost in the mix and drown into a drain of obscurity.

The What, The How, and The Why

  Simon Sinek familiarized the concept of the “What,” the “How,” the “Why” in his book, “Start with Why.” The concept is about having three layers to your brand story.

  The “what” explains what your business is in simple terms (“My business offers locally produced cider”).  The “how” is how you do it (“we use on-site fermentation and locally-sourced apples”).

Unfortunately, while most craft beverage companies may be able to explain the “what” and the “how”, they tend to lag in the “why”. And the “why” is usually the most interesting part of the story because that is where the emotion comes in (“my partner and I both have celiac and were not able to enjoy a traditional brewery experience, so we wanted to offer a delicious beer alternative for gluten-sensitive customers and those who want something a bit different”).  The “Why” is key because it draws people in and creates a deep emotional connection, which is more compelling.

Your brand is the perception of your company by your customers. It is the heart of your message and it’s how your customers will portray you on social media. The emotional connection with your customers is what drives the purchase. It is your “why”.

  This is where it also gets tricky. You can’t forget about the product. Above all else, your customer has to like the taste of what you sell, so quality is also vital.

  Therefore, branding involves defining key concepts, creating emotional attachment, and differentiating yourself from your competition, all while keeping a great product offering. It can be a challenge to balance it just right, and that’s where a business coach comes in.

  Typically, business coaches are experienced entrepreneurs and business owners who then decide to use their talents for building and growing a business to help other business owners reach their goals.

  They can provide far more valuable and personalized advice than any found online. They are essential to success – and are used by most humans across the board in other areas, yet the same principle often fails to apply to a business’ growth.

Take sports or music. If an athlete wants to improve their skills, the best thing they can do is join a team with a great coach. Likewise, a musician will hire a teacher to help them reach rock star  heights.

  Essentially, having a business coach is like having a trusted coach or teacher, and they can prove essential to your brand’s ultimate success.

Why Every Craft Beverage Businesses Should Enlist a Business Coach

  In simple terms, business coaching is a process used to take a business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be.

If a business owner has tough questions or runs into problems along the way, their coach will be able to help them navigate their issues in the most effective way possible.

Getting Started

  A good business coach will ask you to list your core values and help you figure out what will make you stand out from your competition. Your customers have to understand your brand and concept to immerse themselves in the experience. You will also be asked how you would like to grow in a manner consistent with your brand.

  The hiring process should include a discovery period between yourself and the potential business coach to make sure you are both aligned and should include the following:

1.   Answer detailed focus questions so your business coach gains insight of what you want to accomplish.

2.   Review their coaching/consulting package thoroughly, so you’ll have a good idea of features, benefits, time alloted and pricing.

3.   Schedule a 20-30 minute discovery call to talk through the project and determine if you are a good fit to work together.

  A Business Coach should also address focus questions. These can include the following:

•    What do you need help with? Be as specific as possible about the problem you need to solve or opportunity you want to tackle.

•    What is the ideal outcome or result you want to achieve? What does it look like?

•    How urgent is this project? How important is it to tackle this (1 to 10)?

•    What’s your timeframe for this project/goal: 1) ASAP, 2) within the next few months, 3) sometime this year?

  In addition to evaluating strengths and weaknesses, it’s also important to define business goals. For some people, the goal is the freedom to do what they want. For others, it’s financial security. When setting goals, make sure they are specific, optimistic (but realistic), and offer both short- and long-term plans so you can evaluate your progress. 

  Throughout this entire process, business coaches serve as an invaluable source of personalized information and advice, providing business owners with specific industry navigation tools and assisting in setting attainable goals.

  Coaching Packages will reflect just how much time and assistance your business will need and a coach will work with you regarding budget and timelines.

A good business coach understands that exponential success does not happen overnight. That is where their coaching and development services come into play. A great thing about a business coach is that you can hire one at any stage and scenario of your business, whether you are just starting out, your business is struggling and you need a way to revive it, or you are an established name looking to take it to the next level. There will always be a need for a business coach to provide you with considerable entrepreneurial insights, expertise and innovative business ideas at any level. The benefits of having one cannot be overstated.

Large vs Smaller Businesses

  In many cases, the challenges and goals of small businesses may differ from those of large businesses.

  For example, a start-up brewery in a more localized setting, looking to attract more local customers, will have an entirely different set of goals and strategies than a large establishment that caters to multiple locations and ships on a large scale.

With that said, most business coaches will be experienced in working with small or large businesses since a big part of their job  is to learn as much as they can about each company and owner that they are working with, and developing a strategy that is uniquely suited to the specifics of each situation.

In other words, a high-quality business coach will likely be able to help you regardless of budget, company size or how large you want it to grow.

The Last Gulp

  The most important rule of self-evaluation and goal-setting is honesty. Going into business with your eyes wide open about your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, and your ultimate goals lets you confront the decisions you’ll face with greater confidence and a greater chance of success.

  Look at the coaching experience through honest eyes and know that the purpose of a business coach is to make the life of the business owner less stressful and their business more successful, which in amongst itself is something to raise a glass to.

  If you need help on where to start, Chris Mulvaney has been providing Business Coaching Services to business owners and fellow entrepreneurs for over 15 years. His marketing agency, CMDS, can be a great compliment to these services. Feel free to reach out for a consultation and you will be put in the right direction by someone who can take your business to the next level of craft beverage success.

Exploring the Variety of Spirit-Based Canned Cocktails

By: Becky Garrison

Over Memorial Day 2014, Bronya Shillo launched the Fishers Island Lemonade, a signature cocktail that originated at her family’s bar, The Pequot Inn, on Fishers Island, New York.  She refined their decades-old recipe and canned the premium distilled vodka, whiskey, lemon and honey cocktail. The drink is one of the first craft cocktails in a can, making Shillo and her brand a leader in the ready-to-drink market. Fast forward to 2021, and she’s expanded her portfolio to a full family of vodka and whiskey lemonade canned cocktails, as well as a fun and innovative frozen Fishers Island Lemonade spirit popsicle.

  Convenience remains the most touted selling point in the growing RTD market. According to Nielsen IQ, in 2019, annual sales in this segment were up 574%, and malt-based cocktails now account for $4.7 million in annual sales. Spirit and wine-based RTD cocktails are generally available in smaller packages; they’re also more established and generate larger sales—$62 million and $83 million in annual sales, respectively, according to the May 21, 2019, Nielsen IQ. One factor that may be influencing some of these sales from growing even higher is that in con-trol states such as Oregon, spirit-based cocktails can only be found in liquor stores instead of grocery stores in non-control states.

  In 2020, consumers in lockdown sought ways to savor their favorite spirit-based cocktails once enjoyed at a bar or restaurant. Establishments responded to this demand by offering cocktails-to-go. Depending upon state laws, these to-go packages contain all the ingredients needed to make a given establishment’s signature drinks or all the items sans the alcohol.

  This to-go trend looks to continue as the world opens up post-COVID, with customers looking for convenient ways to consume their favorite cocktails while on the go. Molly Troupe, Master Distiller for Portland-based Freeland Spirits, speaks to the appeal of canned cocktails. “Canned cocktails are great for those who like convenience and don’t want to make their own cocktails at home. Cans can go much easier than a bottle to the lake, on a hike or wherever adventure may take you.”

Carbonated Canned Cocktails

  The majority of spirit-based cocktails appear to be carbonated and designed for easy sipping with a low ABV. Ali Joseph, co-owner of Portland, Oregon’s Wild Roots, commented about their 2021 foray into the RTD market. “We always recommend simple two-ingredient cocktails to our fans and wanted to take that idea one step further. There’s nothing easier than cracking open a can.”

  According to Tuan Lee and Hope Ewing, co-founders of Los Angeles-based Vernet, they launched their line of sparkling craft cocktails when they observed the market was dominated by bulk spirits made with flavoring agents. Ewing said, “We really wanted to make something high-quality that we would drink ourselves. Tuan’s dream was to share his love for LA’s immigrant cultures through food and drink, and ready-to-drink cocktails felt like a great vehicle for this. We wanted to package in cans for convenience—being pool-friendly, beach-friendly and lightweight —and because aluminum is the most recyclable packaging around.” She added that their goals in producing these products were twofold. “We wanted to showcase the awesomeness of LA’s immigrant food cultures by using ingredients we loved from local farms and markets and to make something as complex and high-quality as I was used to making in craft cocktail bars.”

  Canned vodka cocktails like those produced by Wild Roots differentiate themselves by using natural ingredients instead of “natural” flavorings often found in canned vodka products. Wild Roots’ canned cocktails are made using their top-selling raspberry, blackberry/marionberry and peach spirits. They also added lemon to the lineup because they often use citrus in their Wild Roots cocktails. Spiritfruit is a ready-to-drink canned vodka soda made using all-natural ingredients, a splash of real fruit and five-times distilled corn-based vodka.

Gin & Tonic Canned Cocktails

  In the spirit-based RTD market, taste and innovation are already proving to be key market differentiators. Take, for example, the different ways three distillers produced a canned classic gin & tonic.

  Melissa and Lee Katrincic, co-founders and co-owners of Durham Distillery in Durham, North Carolina, launched their Conniption canned cocktails in 2018 and were among the first distilleries in the U.S. to add them.

  “We saw the increasing popularity of malt-based seltzers and with them mimicking cocktail flavors and/or names. We wanted to bring authentic, delicious spirits based cocktails in the convenience of a can,” Melissa Katrincic said. They chose rosé spritz, cucumber & vodka and gin & tonic because they found that these seasonable flavors are perfect for the warmer months in the southeast United States. Their gin & tonic emerged as the fan favorite.

  Durham’s canned cocktails must be prepared in large batches of approximately 5,000 cocktails. This process involves ensuring that the precise amount of ingredients are measured and pumped into their 450-gallon tanks, then mixed and carbonated. They have an automated canning line for getting the product into containers, whereas their spirits are hand bottled. The canning line is made of hundreds of working parts that are finely tuned but can sometimes be problematic if out of adjustment. Carbonated products can also be prone to “misbehaving,” leading to the final product being foamy or difficult to get into the cans at the right volume.

  Freeland Spirits added canned cocktails to their lineup following the success of the kegged ver-sion of their Gin and Rose Tonic, which they offered in their tasting room. They launched their canned version in 2019, followed in 2020 with the French 75. The latter is a collaboration made using women winemakers and distillers and features Freeland Gin, Chehalem Chardonnay, lemon and simple syrup.

  According to Troupe: “While canned cocktails add an additional step to spirits production, play-ing with carbonation levels and different cocktail ingredients is a lot of fun.” Also, stability is a more significant issue because these canned cocktails are lower-proof than their bottled spirits.

  As the makers of Aria Portland Dry Gin, Martin Ryan Distilling Company in Portland, Oregon, is known as a gin house. So rather than develop another product in a different spirit category, a G&T seemed like a natural extension of the Aria Portland Dry gin brand. Ryan Csansky used his background in the bar and restaurant industry to create an in-house tonic using a proprietary blend of lime, bergamot and lemongrass, hints of allspice, orris and star anise, a flavorful tonic that complements the classic London Dry style of Aria Gin. The result is a G&T canned cocktail made using all ingredients with chemicals or artificial sweeteners and one of the lowest sugar counts of any tonic on the market. Since a canning line is an expensive system to purchase, they work with a mobile canning company that brings their system and operating crew to them as needed.

Other Non-Carbonated Bartender Inspired Cocktails

  Drnxmyth, a collective of drink makers with a shared interest in bringing fresh craft cocktails to people everywhere, invented an ingenious bottling technology that, in their estimation, unlocks the freshest cocktails ever produced. Each drink created is a collaboration between them and a bartender, drink maker or drinksmith, who shares in the sales profits for this particular drink.

  The TTB licensed Drnxmyth’s factory to handle bulk spirits and fresh cold press juicing, batch-ing and filling. A patent-pending bottle separates the spirits from the fresh ingredients, since al-cohol alters the sensorial nature of juice and freshness over time. Then the drinks are pressurized at 85,000 psi, which brings the microbial count in the juice close to zero. After that process, the beverage will remain fresh for five months while refrigerated and unopened.

  Through his work in the music festival industry, Neal Cohen, co-founder of Atlanta-based Tip-Top Proper, saw demand growing for quality cocktails, though in his assessment, the category had yet to deliver the quality and convenience for classic, spirit-forward, non-carbonated cock-tails in high volumes. “We fantasized about creating a world-class cocktail in an easy-to-serve vessel, thinking maybe we could help solve a problem for venues, events, restaurants, bars, air-planes and regular folks at home on the couch. Eventually, we stopped fantasizing and started actually doing it,” Cohen said.

With that mindset, Tip Top Proper was founded in 2018, focusing first on the trifecta of bitters-forward, stirred, high-proof cocktails—Old Fashioned, Manhattan and Negroni. Next, they gravi-tated toward a “Shaken Line”—Margarita, Daiquiri and Bee’s Knees—all cocktails that allow for warm weather, outdoor consumption. Their products come in 100ml sizes, which Cohen said is the appropriate single-serve size for a cocktail.

  In 2016, The Perfect Cocktail began offering classic cocktails—Old Fashioned, Manhattan and Negroni—packaged in mini bags. Their “made in Italy” production process and functional and sustainable packaging are patented to ensure the best mix of convenience and flexibility.

  Alley 6 Craft Distilling in Healdsburg, California, first came out with their canned Old Fash-ioned in 2019 in response to consumer demand for a portable version of the drink made in their tasting room using rye whiskey or apple brandy and candy cap (mushroom) bitters. A bottle didn’t seem to fit their purposes when compared to a canned cocktail that could be enjoyed while on the go, traveling or adventuring.

  Oregon-based 503 Distilling offers their canned Mt. Hood Old Fashioned, a blend of their rye whiskey, hazelnut bitters and maple syrup. This canned cocktail follows their first release, the Wicked Mule, along with other offerings—Blood Orange Greyhound, La Vida Mocha, Five-O-Tea and Huckleberry Lemonade.

  For a Brazilian twist on the Old Fashioned, Novo Fogo is launching a Brazilian Old Fashioned Highball hybrid that features tropical flavors of orange and vanilla. Their initial foray into the canned cocktail market was their Sparkling Caipirinha, a canned version of Brazil’s national cocktail available in three flavors found across the Brazilian food and drink spectrum—lime, passion fruit and mango.

  Finally, for consumers looking to savor a hot, after-dinner hard coffee that’s easy to make, Cask and Kettle produces small-batch hard coffees in flavors such as Irish, Mint Patty, Hot Blonde or Mexican Coffee, and a Spiked Cider in a k-pod. The k-pods, packaged and distilled by Temper-ance Distilling in Temperance, Michigan, contain liquid distilled spirits, concentrated coffee and flavorings, and can be placed into any pod home brewing system or poured into hot or iced water.