2020 Rum Summit

Celebration of Cane Spirit!


9:00AM MSTKenneth Gravois, PhDLouisiana State University - Sugar Research StationSugarcane – An Economic Driver for South Louisiana The presentation will review the history of the crop and how it became Louisiana’s number one valued row crop. We will also cover how it is grown, harvested, and processed to make sugar and molasses.
10:00AM MSTWill HoekengaAmerican Rum ReportFinding Your Place in American RumWith dozens of new American distilleries and rums popping up every month, how do you make sense of what’s out there, where the category is going, and how your rum can stand out? American Rum Report founder Will Hoekenga shares insights gained from obsessively chronicling the American rum landscape, the producers shaping it, and the consumers who are trying to make sense of it.
11:00AM MSTMatt PietrekThe Cocktail WonkIn Search of High Ester RumRum aficionados are obsessed with “funk” and “hogo”, typically associated with Jamaican rum. But what exactly are those aromas? Where do they come from? And how do distillers accentuate those elements? In this session, you’ll learn the science of aromatic compounds such as esters, why high ester rums came about, and who else makes them besides Jamaican distilleries. If the term “dunder” makes your pulse quicken, this session is for you.
12:00PM MSTKaren HoskinMontanya RumResponsible Sugar Cane and Rum Making StewardshipKaren Hoskin CEO and Co-founder of Montanya Rum provides a deep-dive into ethical sugar cane sourcing and practices
1:00PM MSTJonny VerPlanckVagrant DistillerGuided Comparative Rum TastingJoin Jonny VerPlanck, Founder & Head Distiller of Vagrant Distiller, as he leads you through a guided tasting of varying rum styles while learning from head distillers about the different raw materials, fermentations, and distillation techniques and processe
2:00PM MSTMatt PietrekThe Cocktail WonkHistory of Rum and Cocktail & Tiki CultureMatt Pietrek guides us through the history surrounding rum and the tiki culture
3:00PM MSTAll SpeakersPanel lead by Andrew Lohfeld
3:00PM MSTAll SpeakersCocktail Demo with the Cocktail Wonk and Jonny VerPlanck