We’re not interested in the politics of the Covid situation; we just want to see our friends and neighbors back to work. In that vein, a recent article in a trade publication got our attention.
Published in Beverage Dynamics, the article stated that 41% of craft distilling sales have disappeared, and that 31% of employees have been furloughed. The sale drop translates to about $700 million lost. Because so many bars and restaurants have been closed, or are operating in limited ways, the wholesale sales from those distillers were similarly reduced. Before Covid, there were about 2000 craft distillers in the US.
All of us can help the craft distillers, in our own small ways. Here are our suggestions:
1. Visit tasting rooms when possible. The closest craft distillery to our Hopewell store is Sourland Mountain Spirits. They have outdoor tables available, and reasonable weekend hours.
2. Buy their swag. Many distillers have shirts, hats, barware, hand sanitizer, and more, available on their websites. I just bought a golf shirt from Sagamore Spirits, and I recently bought a t-shirt from a favorite PA brewery whose products aren’t available in NJ.
3. Buy craft spirits from Super Buy Rite. We carry brands like Balcones, Corsair, Federal Distilling (Stateside Vodka, from Phila.) Journeyman, Sagamore Spirit, and Train Wreck (also distilled in NJ), among others.
The last few months have been difficult for everyone. At Super Buy Rite, we did our part to support local businesses during the pandemic, and we appreciate the fact that you have continued to shop with us in-store, as well as online for curbside pickup and delivery. Now, we’re aiming to support craft distillers as well.
What’s available from the distillers mentioned in this post:
Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon. Made grain-to-glass using a traditional pot still distillation ensures a rich and viscous spirit that stands up to aging in new charred oak without losing its essence. Each dram is full of character and body, with an aromatic entry and soft finish, for an approachable yet memorable experience. On sale for $29.99.
Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey. We use three individually smoked malts (cherrywood from Wisconsin, beechwood from Germany, and peat from Scotland) to craft this deep and complex whiskey. Using 3 distinct smokes provides consistent and balanced smoke from nose to the pallet and throughout the finish. Available for $54.99.
Journeyman. We carry five different expressions from Journeyman, including Bourbon and Rye, along with a sampler kit.
Sagamore Spirit. Sagamore is all about Rye, and we carry three different expressions. That includes one Buy Rite barrel select rye. I visited Sagamore Spirits in Baltimore last year, and can highly recommend both the visit and the whiskey.
Sourland Mountain Spirits. We carry about ½ dozen different expressions from Sourland Mountain, from vodka to rum to bourbon.
Stateside Vodka, from Federal Distilling. 750ml is on sale for $24.99, or the 1.75L, on sale for $39.99. They’ve recently introduced a Black Label Bourbon, available for $45.99.
Train Wreck. We carry five different expressions from Train Wreck, ranging from vodka to a single malt whiskey.
—Steve Wernick, Wine Manager