We Finally Got COVID, So You Don’t Have To

After 2 years of wearing masks in public places, 2 vaccinations and 2 boosters, our family finally got COVID (as you may know, my better half Anne-Sophie runs the ADI Conference for Chairman Bill Owens and President Erik Owens). We felt bad. We didn’t die. And now we’ve got super-immunity. So (hopefully) that means there’s no way on Earth we will transmit it to you at the ADI Conference in September. And if we’re not wearing masks when you meet us in St. Louis, now you know why.

BlackMomma, With Emphasis on the Momma Part

Our cover story on Vanessa Gravesande-Braxton, the founder and master distiller at Long Island, New York’s BlackMomma Vodka, is one of our best yet. First, Vanessa herself is a force of nature, the first-ever black female master distiller officially recognized by the New York State Legislature. Second, the market she’s tapping, the “momma market,” is the world’s most powerful consumer beverage market. After all, nearly 80% of alcoholic beverage purchases for households are made by women. Vanessa says she will be in attendance in St. Louis. Look her up — she’s one of a kind, and her whey-based vodka is damn good.

Rye Was Almost Dead—What Brought It Back?

Our intrepid spirits journalist David Furer investigates the forces behind the revival of rye whiskey. There were only seven rye makers in 2000. Today there are over 100. What brought them back? And what secrets can you learn from their revival that could help your brand? Read the story — Spirit of Rye.

Sustainability — How Can You Make Money From It?

Many entrepreneurs, both in spirits and in other sectors, have died on the hill of sustainability. Being green is hard, and expensive, and many times customers say they want green stuff, but are unwilling to pay an extra penny for it. Is being eco-friendly worth the trouble and expense, and where’s the money in it? We take a deep dive to find the answer, or rather, the many answers, in our feature on Shanna Farrell’s new best-selling book A Good Drink, In Pursuit of Sustainable Spirits. As it turns out, the craft spirits e cosystem has dozens of green pioneers, including longtime Distiller Magazine writer Karen Hoskin of Montanya Distillery. But craft spirit sustainability is in its early days. And the winners are yet to be crowned.

Meet One of the Ultimate Farm Distilleries

Farm distilling is the oldest form of craft, and in many ways, the hardest to get right. That’s because making good booze is hard enough without having to harvest crops and herd animals. In our piece entitled “Grazin’” you’ll meet one of the new masters of the practice.


Jay Whitehead, Editor, Distiller magazine

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Jay Whitehead has founded and run 15 investor-backed media, tech and social enterprises, raised $100+ million from investors, and managed 5 liquidity events. He is an author, faculty member at The Negotiation Institute, and served on the board of Harvard University’s Sustainability & Environmental Management program. Jay earned a BA from UCLA and a Strategic Finance certificate from the Harvard Business School. He can be reached at Jay@LeagueNetwork.com.