Cedar Ridge Distillery in Swisher, Iowa, has been conferred the title of Distillery of the Year by the American Distilling Institute.
Owner and founder of Cedar Ridge, Jeff Quint, called it an “incredible honor”. He said, "There's no higher award in the industry. In our 12-plus years of distilling, this is highlight No. 1, no doubt." The distillery beat out over 1,300 other craft distilleries in the country to win the award.
The awards ceremony was held in Baltimore by the American Distilling Institute on April 4.
Founded in 2005, Cedar Ridge Distillery started out by brewing spirits in three German-made copper stills with a mere capacity of 40, 100 and 200 gallons each. Currently producing four barrels of whiskey daily, Quint hopes to double the rate to eight barrels a day soon.
Cedar Ridge Distillery’s products are available in 15 states in the USA. Canada and the Caribbean too, can avail of them. Quint has expressed plans to expand to Europe next year.
The distillery strictly uses locally-grown corn in its bourbon whiskey. "We think we (Iowa) should be exporting bourbon — not importing it," said Quint.
President of the American Distilling Institute, Bill Owens, cited high quality, spirited commitment, consistent product innovation, and legislative advocacy as the reasons Cedar Ridge was chosen for the award.
Hailing from a long line of grain farmers and distillers in Germany, Quint is the first to produce whiskey. "If you go back eight or nine generations, it's always been either wine or brandy," he said.