The inaugural winner was chosen by popular vote by fans and members of RackHouse Whiskey Club — a craft whiskey of the month subscription club. The awards began with a public nomination period. A list of 10 finalists were then chosen by RackHouse Whiskey Club judges based on four criteria: Compelling story, impact on community, marketing presence, and branding and packaging. The winner was then chosen by public vote.
The finalists were:
- Uncle Nearest Green Distillery
- Westward Distillery
- Wigle Whiskey
- Wilderness Trail
- Bardstown Bourbon Company
- Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey
- Frey Ranch Distillery
- High Bank Distillery
- Wyoming Whiskey
- 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirits
“Since 2017, RackHouse Whiskey Club has traveled the country in search of independent distilleries doing things differently,” Dannie Strable, CEO of RackHouse Whiskey Club said. “We have always believed that the people and their story are what makes the whiskey. Think of this as the people's award. Congratulations to 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirits for being named our first ever Craft Distillery of the Year!”
“As an eight-year-old distillery, and on behalf of our entire team of 14, this recognition from RackHouse Whiskey Club really means a ton to all of us,” Ryan Thompson, CEO of 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirits said. “It's a great industry to be part of and there is more hard work that goes into it than most people think. This award recognizes all of our team and the effort they put into the business on a daily basis. We're grateful and will keep on making our spirits as long as people keep on drinking 'em!”
10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirits was featured in the February, 2020 RackHouse Whiskey Club box. Sign up by Dec. 10, 2021 to RackHouse Whiskey Club’s next box featuring Cleveland Whiskey.