BALTIMORE — November marks the second Maryland Spirits Month, a consumer-focused celebration of the state’s burgeoning distilling and spirits industry.
Distilleries and retailers throughout the state have scheduled events highlighting the wide variety of Maryland-distilled spirits. Led by the members of the Maryland Distillers Guild, the festivities are intended to promote the state’s 28 licensed distilleries and educate people about the regional industry.
The modern distilling and spirits industry in Maryland is represented by a diverse group of innovative and entrepreneurial business owners and operators. The scale of local distilling operations ranges from state-of-the-art equipment located in newly constructed production facilities to stills operating in historic agricultural buildings. Statewide, distillers are gaining reputations for producing award-winning gin, rum, vodka and whiskey while also creating revolutionary takes on various amaros, liqueurs and cordial spirits.
“The creativity of Maryland’s distillers seems unparalleled. It is exciting to watch locally distilled spirits make such an impression in the marketplace,” said Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Maryland Distillers Guild.
As part of this year’s Maryland Spirits Month, the guild plans to release a passport featuring visitor information about distilleries and tasting rooms that are open to the public. Copies of the passport are free and will be available at local distilleries in early November. This passport is meant to be a journal for consumers cataloging their distillery visits and spirits tastings.
“We hope the passport will create new craft spirit consumers and encourage seasoned enthusiasts to explore the amazing distilleries throughout our state,” said Monica Pearce, owner of Tenth Ward Distilling in Frederick.
Maryland has a storied history tied to the distillation of spirits. In the years prior to Prohibition, the state’s distilleries were producing volumes of whiskey, often rye, that were topped by only Kentucky and Pennsylvania. As Prohibition swept the nation in 1919, Maryland earned the nickname the “Free State” due to the resistance of citizens to federal legislation that was viewed to directly infringe on the rights of their state.
To learn more about the distilling industry in Maryland, get more information about the Maryland Spirits Passport, and to see the full calendar of Maryland Spirits Month events, visit marylandspirits.org.