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The Michigan Craft Distillers Association was formed in 2014 to organize the growing number of small-batch spirit producers in the state
Today, the nonprofit organization boasts more than two dozen craft distillery members and four distilleries “in planning” that are schedule to open within the next year. That number increases on a regular basis, along with other craft beverage sectors.
As with any craft or “local” product, educating the consumer is vital. With the growth of the industry comes operations that produce spirits on various levels. The association has established its own definition of a “craft” vs. a “merchant” distiller to help identify operations that actually distill spirits in Michigan.
And what about the labels on the spirit bottles? How can you tell if the products were actually made in Michigan? While there a variety of descriptions that can be printed on a label, including, “bottled in,” “distilled in,” “manufactured in,” “produced in,” “aged in” or any combination of those terms, if it reads anything other than “distilled” — at least in whiskey — it wasn’t made by the company.