About American Distilling Institute

The Voice of Craft Distilling

The American Distilling Institute (ADI) is the oldest and largest organization of small-batch, independently-owned distillers in the United States. Founded in 2003 by Bill Owens, the organization has grown from a few dozen distillers to more than 1,000 paid members. In 2015, more than 1,500 people attended ADI’s 12th Annual Distilling Conference and Vendor Expo, in Louisville.

Our Mission

To promote and defend the art and enterprise of craft distilling. Through our programs of economic development, academic research and education, ADI generates greater public awareness and appreciation for the quality and variety of artisan spirits and brings greater benefits to the larger society in which we live.

Letter from the President

Dear Supporter,

It has been an eventful and satisfying journey since ADI’s inception 10 years ago. Now considered America’s most beloved and respected craft distilling organization, ADI has experienced much success and growth over the years and expects to experience more.

The annual Craft Distilling Conference & Expo held in Denver this year attracted 1000 attendees and 100 vendors. The conference reflected the growth of the industry and the need for distillers and vendors to network. The many workshops and panels provided opportunities for novices and professionals alike. We expect an equal turnout and reception this year in Seattle on March 31st to April 2nd.
For the first year ever, ADI reached across the water to help create the London Craft Distilling Expo. Attendees came from more than a dozen countries across Western Europe for a gathering of over 200 people.

The distilling.com website continues to support the craft distilling community by providing education, legal and financial information to distillers, and a very successful forum that has attracted 29,000 visitors over the past 6 years. Distilling.com is constantly adding to its content in order to keep the site relevant and current.

Within the last year ADI has created a Craft Certified Spirits Program. Presently there are over 250 participating distilleries and more than 400 spirits that are certified. This program was created to raise public awareness of a small-batch, craft spirit­— distinct from the larger, more well-known and well-heeled distilleries. There is now an online searchable database on distilling.com that distributors, wholesales, buyers and bartenders can use to find Certified Craft Spirits.

ADI’s annual judging of craft spirits is highly respected within the industry. In 2013, our 7th year, judges awarded 23 gold, 44 silver and 46 bronze medals to only 37% of the entries. Entries included: 127 whiskies, 66 gins, 36 moonshines, 47 rums and 41 fruit spirits from 124 independently-owned, small-batch distilled spirits producers. For this year, 2014, we’ve added new categories which now makes any class of spirit eligible for judging.

The industry has grown and continues to grow— both in the number of craft distilleries and in the apparent desire of consumers to imbibe the best the artisan world has to offer. ADI will continue to pioneer new paths in order to bring craft spirits to the public and to strengthen the community of distillers and their providers.

Thank you for all your support and we continue to look forward to more years of growth ahead.

Bill Owens
President & Founder of ADI

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