Missouri Distilleries Competing For Bragging Rights
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council today announced its sponsorship of the Heartland Whiskey Tasting Competition taking place May 18 in Chicago. Coordinated by the American Craft Spirits Association, the whiskey tasting competition will crown individual state winners as well as “best of show” in several corn whiskey categories.
A growing industry, Missouri is home to more than 20 craft distilleries. On average, it takes approximately 3 pounds of corn to make one bottle of spirits. At 56 pounds in a bushel, local distilleries can produce roughly 18 bottles of spirits for each bushel of corn.
“We’re happy to highlight those local craft spirits distilleries using corn mash to make their quality products,” notes MCMC Chairman Kyle Kirby, a corn grower from Barton County. “Often when you think of field corn, you think cows–not whiskey. This competition provides a great opportunity to highlight the many diverse uses for the grain today’s farmers are growing.”
Recognition plays a significant role in the spirits industry. Industry awards and medals are often a main driver in consumer purchases at the retail level. The Heartland Whiskey Tasting Competition is limited to Midwestern states and to only those products that use corn in the distilling process. Missouri is one of 10 states participating in the state-specific contests.
“We are thrilled to work alongside the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and sponsor a competition that highlights small distilleries in their individual state,” said Margie Lehrman, executive director of ACSA. “Craft distilleries represent a fast-growing industry but it requires more support, especially in the area of marketing, to grow and sustain business. Individual state awards provide craft distilleries–many of which are independent, family-run businesses–with a unique opportunity for visibility among consumers and distributors.”
The Heartland Whiskey Tasting Competition will award winners for corn-based spirits, with the distilleries mashing corn on-site. ACSA judges will be selected from accomplished mixologists who have experience with craft spirits. The judging will occur May 18. A press event is scheduled for May 19 and winners will also be recognized at the May 20 Heartland Spirits Fest. Additional information can be found at www.heartlandspiritsfest.com.
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