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A microdistillery is a small, often 'boutique', distillery, most commonly in the United States.

Throughout much of the world, small distilleries operate throughout communities of various sizes and do not generally garner specific terminology denoting their size. Due to the extended period of Prohibition in the United States, however, most small distilleries were forced out of business, leaving only the corporate dominated megadistilleries to resume operation at Prohibition's repeal. The microdistilling trend grew out of the microbrewing trend which originated in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and quickly spread throughout the United States in the following decades. Whilst still in its infancy, the popularity of microdistilling and microdistilled spirits is expanding consistently, with many microbreweries and small wineries establishing distilleries within the scope of their brewing or winemaking operations. Other microdistilleries are farm-based.[1] Anchor Brewing Company and Dogfish Head are two examples of American craft breweries that have begun expanding into microdistillation. Some of the newer microdistilleries are focused solely on spirits. Vodka and seasonally-flavored vodkas are often popular products.[1]



The U.S. Government regulates distilleries to a high degree and currently does not distinguish its treatment of distilleries in terms of size, except to charge less for the Federal licensing requirements for small producers. This elevated degree of regulation has prevented microdistilling from developing as rapidly as microbrewing which enjoys relatively more relaxed government control. A number of states, such as Iowa, Kansas, Indiana, Minnesota and California, have passed legislation reducing the stringent regulations for small distilleries that were a holdover from prohibition.[1] The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) are responsible for enforcing Federal statutes as they apply to all manufacturers of beverage alcohol.

U.S. Microdistilleries

As with the emergence of microbrewing, California and Oregon have experienced the highest number of microdistillery openings. Significant recent growth has also occurred in the Midwest,[1].

Incomplete List of US Microdistilleries

  • Leopold Bros. Small Batch Distillers of Fine Spirits (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • North Shore Distillery (Lake Bluff,IL)
  • Great Lakes Distillery (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Triple Eight Distillery (Nantucket, MA)
  • Osocalis Distillery (Soquel, CA)
  • Vermont Spirits (Passumpsic, VT)
  • Essential Spirits (Mountain View, CA)
  • Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery (Boise, ID)
  • BenDistillery (Bend, OR)
  • Philadelphia Distilling (Philadelphia, PA)
  • New Holland Spirits (New Holland, MI)
  • Ranson Spirits (McMinnville, OR)
  • Mcmenamins Whiskey (Portland, OR)
  • Tito's Handmade Vodka (Austin, TX)
  • Mountain Moonshine (Morgantown, WV)
  • Koenig Distillery (Caldwell, ID)
  • Domaine Charbay (Spring Mountain, CA)
  • Anchor Distilling (San Francisco, CA)
  • Dogfish Head (Rehoboth Beach, DE)
  • Dry Fly Distilling (Spokane, WA)
  • Pioneer Spirits (Chico, CA)
  • High Plains (Atchison, KS)
  • Cedar Ridge Distillery (Swisher, IA)
  • Starlight Distillery (Starlight, IN)
  • Tuthilltown Spirits (Gardiner, NY)

Microdistilling Related Pages

  • American Distiller
  • TTB Regulations, Statutes, and Information
  • BATF Regulations, Statutes, and Information


  1. ^ a b c d "Farmyard Stills Quench a Thirst for Local Spirits," New York Times, 25 Nov 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Microdistillery". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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