Local distillery faces tough competition in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards Contests
Grand Rapids distillery, Long Road Distillers, has been nominated as the Best Distillery in the country in multiple categories as part of the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. The company has been nominated as the “Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery”, “Best Craft Gin Distillery”, “Best Craft Vodka Distillery”, and “Best Craft Brandy Distillery” for 2019. This marks the third year that Long Road was nominated in the “Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery” category.
Over their four-year history the distillery has gained lots of attention for their award-winning, locally-sourced and craft-distilled line-up of spirits, including gins, vodkas, aquavits, and whiskies.
The public will choose the winners by casting votes on 10best.com/awards. Each person may vote for their favorites once per day until Monday, September 23. Winners will be announced on October 4.
Long Road Distillers is one of 20 nominees, in each category, from around the country that were carefully chosen by a panel of American spirits experts. The nominating panel includes Wayne Curtis, renowned spirits and cocktail author of books including “And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails”, Brian Christensen, publisher and editor of Artisan Spirit Magazine, Ziggy Eschliman, founder of ZigStyle and award-winning radio host, Kevin Gray, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Bevvy, Eric Grossman, a food and beverage writer and author of Craft Spirits, and Jack Robertiello, a writer and acclaimed wine and spirits judge.
“We’re incredibly proud to receive nominations in multiple categories this year,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and founder of Long Road Distillers. “As we continue to expand our portfolio with new, exciting spirits, it’s affirming to receive accolades and honors on a national and international scale. We have a ton of respect for every nominee on each of these lists, as some have been leaders in our industry for years. To even have the chance to compete is a big deal for us.”
The distillery is quick to admit how these awards are different from many other competitions, and that they will be relying on their loyal supporters and the community in West Michigan to help them top the list of winners.
“Unlike some competitions where the judging takes place behind closed doors, this contest puts the power in the hands of those that enjoy our spirits and have supported us over the past several years,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and founder of Long Road Distillers. “We’re humbled by this nomination and hopeful that we can spread the word far and wide to take home several new honors for Grand Rapids!”
Long Road’s no-shortcuts approach to crafting spirits and a dedication to using locally sourced ingredients has earned them numerous honors and awards, as well as international acclaim for some lesser-known spirits categories, such as Aquavit. Their spirits can be found at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side, at tasting rooms in Grand Haven and Boyne City, and at over 1,750 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.