The Iowa distillery website, iowadistillery.com, has joined our family of craft distillers. For years, this Iowa distilling grass roots organization, called the “Iowa Distillers Alliance,” had been a leader in craft distilling in Iowa, lobbying for important changes in the Iowa liquor laws.
The Iowa Distillers Alliance was committed to supporting and growing Iowa’s craft distilling industry. Every major distillery in Iowa participated, making the group stronger than the sum of their parts. Thanks to their hard work, Iowa distilleries can now sell by the glass, dramatically raising profits.
The Iowa Distillers Alliance was committed to working with legislators to create a fair and supportive marketplace for Iowa distilleries. Most of the distilleries in Iowa are small businesses in rural communities. These are the kinds of “mom and pop” businesses that need and deserve the support of all Iowans.
Why Distilleries in Iowa?
The Iowa Distillers Alliance mission statement asserts that Iowa is an ideal location for distilleries due to the state’s primary industry being grain production, which is the main ingredient in spirits manufacturing in the U.S.
Despite this, the Alliance notes that a majority of spirits consumed in Iowa are imported from other states. The Alliance aims to change this by utilizing Iowa’s high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients to build a reputation for producing some of the world’s finest spirits.
Iowa Distillers Craft High Quality Products
Iowa distillers know their craft, but it’s becoming a lost art. High-quality, small-batch producers are being squeezed by the giant corporations. This leads to decreased variety and a homogenization of the public’s palate.
A secondary mission of the Iowa Distillers Alliance is to help local hobbyists improve their skills in order to make homemade spirits of higher quality. The Alliance does this with lectures, hands-on training, and a library of online resources.
The topics covered in this program include selecting the best heat source for distilling, choosing the best distilling equipment and hardware, and selecting the best yeast for distilling, as well as how to activate yeast to achieve the best possible result.
There are also supplemental sections “just for fun,” such as malting corn and how to make alcohol from fruit.
The History of Distilling Spirits in Iowa
The history of distilling spirits in Iowa dates back to the early 19th century when farmers began to produce their own whiskey for personal consumption and trade. However, commercial distilling in Iowa did not take off until after the Civil War when the state’s corn production increased significantly.
In the late 1800s, Iowa became one of the top producers of whiskey in the country, with over 200 registered distilleries operating in the state. However, the Prohibition era in the early 20th century brought an end to legal distilling in Iowa, and many of the state’s distilleries closed down or turned to other businesses.
It was not until the 21st century that the tradition of distilling spirits in Iowa was revived. The Iowa Distillers Alliance, a non-profit trade association, was founded in 2010 to promote the growth of the distilling industry in Iowa. Today, there are over 25 distilleries operating in the state, producing a variety of spirits including whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum.
The tradition of using locally-sourced ingredients in Iowa’s distilling industry has also been revived, with many distilleries using corn and other grains grown in the state. Iowa’s distillers take pride in their craftsmanship and attention to detail, with many utilizing traditional distilling methods and equipment to create unique, high-quality spirits.
The history and traditions of distilling spirits in Iowa has been one of adaptation and perseverance, with the state’s distilling industry experiencing both periods of growth and decline. However, with the current resurgence of interest in locally-produced, high-quality spirits, Iowa’s distillers are poised to continue their proud tradition for years to come.
Welcome Iowa Distillery!
Still Cooker is thrilled to have Iowa Distillery as part of our family of craft spirit enthusiasts. Please check back periodically for updates on this and more in the world of homemade, handcrafted distilled spirits. Or reach out to us at [email protected].