There are a lot of distilleries in America. Many you’ve heard of — either for their high-quality products, massive advertising budgets, or some combination of the two. But just because you hear the same names over and over again, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye out for new and exciting brands to try. There’s a long list of underrated distilleries crafting amazing, creative, and unique spirits in every state in the union.
Like many bartenders, Kalani Ben, of The Spare Room in Los Angeles, is always on the lookout for different distilleries to try. But to Ben, it’s just as important to make a positive impact on the environment as it is to come up with great expressions.
“To me, the most underrated distilleries are the ones that funnel the bulk of their resources into education for their spirit category,” he says, “and also those who spend time developing efficient sustainability practices within their respected category.”
Being supportive of your category and sustainable are two great ways for a distillery to make itself known, but they aren’t the only ways. To find out what else moves the needle, we reached out to some of our favorite bartenders.