MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Millions will be raising a glass Tuesday to celebrate the 4th of July and more Americans are drinking spirits like whisky – something that’s led to a nationwide boom in the number of small distilleries.
Just beyond the vine-covered hills of California wine country, something else is brewing. Adam Spiegel opened the Sonoma County Distilling Company in 2010 – with one simple mission:
“Make two types of rye whiskey and two types of bourbon,” said Spiegel.
He has since watched his industry surge both in California and across the country.
“When we first started we were among the first 200 distilleries in the United States…now there’s 1,600,” said Spiegel.
Industry experts do not see that trend slowing down. Every state in the U.S. is now home to at least one craft distillery – with permits issued daily.
“People are enjoying spirits more than they once did,” said David Ozgo, Chief Economist for the Distilled Spirits Council.
Ozgo says smaller distilleries are responding to the demand of consumers and while most have typically focused on making vodka and gin – whisky is fast becoming the drink of choice.
“And many of them are now experimenting with different aging techniques, aging in different woods and whatnot, so it’s really led to a lot of variety for the consumer,” said Ozgo.
Spiegel says his product’s surging popularity now has him expanding his distillery allowing him to make more of his traditional whisky.
“You don’t have to go to Kentucky, don’t have to go to Scotland… you can do it in your own backyard,” said Spiegel.