Q. What criteria does MicroShiner use to decide whether spirits are craft?

A. Currently, we follow the criteria for craft spirits established by the American Craft Spirits Association and the American Distilling Institute.

  • Distilled by the DSP: The spirit must have been run through a still by a certified craft producer, and the TTB-approved label must state “Distilled By” followed by the name of the DSP (distilled spirits plant).
  • Independently-Owned: Less than 25% of the distillery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by alcoholic beverage industry members who are not themselves craft distillers.
  • Small-Scale: Maximum annual sales are less than 100,000 proof gallons (750,000 in the case of ACSA). Because we believe small is beautiful, we tend towards the ADI maximum.


Q. I've Read that most craft spirits are just a fancy label slapped on a bottle of liquor made at some giant plant in Indiana. Is that true?

A. It's true that there are a significant number of rectifiers and blenders passing themselves off as micro-distillers. In both cases, bulk alcohol is sourced from a large contract distillery. Rectifiers run neutral grain spirits through a still to make their product (usually vodka or gin). Blenders mix various batches of sourced whiskey, sometimes aging it further or altering it before bottling. Technically, rectifiers meet the definition of craft established by ADI, and both rectifiers and blenders meet the criteria for voting membership in ACSA. This is why we are currently working with industry leaders to establish a peer-hosted, blockchain-based global certification for independently-owned, micro-scale businesses.


Q. Have some other question about craft spirits?

A. Email us! We would love to hear from you.