The Bubble Cap Award for Distillery of the Year represents the best that the distilling community has to offer. Every year, it is a tough decision: not only picking the recipient, but also passing by others who are worthy. ADI wishes that we could give it to more than one distillery. The choice for the Bubble Cap Award is made by the top staff, with President Bill Owens having the final say. The distilleries chosen are examples of people doing more than making good spirits and running a tight business. Creativity, community engagement and setting examples are also strong factors in selecting these exemplary distilleries.

This year’s recipients are some of the truly nice guys of the distilling community. From their inception in 2013, Copperworks Distilling Co. has been a model of good planning. They have made a practice of doing things right, not just in the process and artistry of making good spirits, but also by creating a world-class visitor experience in a location that is already a destination. The distillery’s site on the Seattle waterfront and the beautifully-orchestrated installation, with the gleaming Forsyths stills visible from the tasting room, seem to be sitting on top of a gold mine. With whiskey that has now been maturing in barrels for more than five years, Copperworks seems poised to make a big leap.

Over many years of involvement, co-founders Jason Parker and Micah Nutt are some of the truly giving people in their communities—not solely in their time operating a distillery but also from prior decades in the Seattle brewing community. They are known for their kindness and generosity—always giving more than they receive—and they make really good booze.

Parker, who just ended a year as the president of the Washington Distillers Guild, commented on the effect of the award. “It’s really opening doors for us. From the press, to customer and vendor emails, on social media, in-store visitors and seemingly everyone we meet, the award has resonated near and far. Stores want to carry us. Bars and restaurants want to feature us. Our distributors want to focus on us. And we are more confident and focused than ever, realizing that the leader in the industry—the ADI—appreciates and believes in what we’re doing. Thank you!”

Several times a year, ADI is asked what the next big thing is. In the opinion of ADI, Copperworks Distilling Co. is the next big thing.