And we're trying to do something new: throw open an unusual sponsorship opportunity for those same distillers who usually wouldn't be able to sponsor a seminar. Each year, sponsorships for sessions at Tales are snapped up by large liquor companies to showcase their portfolios. That's great. I love those sessions. Learn about the history of Cointreau? Sure, I totally want to. Sample unusual whiskeys from Heaven Hill before they're rolled out to the public? I'd be a fool to pass up the chance.
I posted a more detailed discussion about this on the forums of the American Distilling Institute. If you're interested, check it out here.
America's New Distilleries (abstract):
In the last ten years the number of American distilleries has grown from a few dozen to over 200. All around America, people are re-inventing gin, delivering exciting new brandies, expanding the spectrum of American whiskey. At the same time, the industry is full of paper tigers, false starts, and vanity projects. We’ll separate the wheat from the chaff in the current scene, and look out in to the future. Big spirits companies have started buying the little guys: what will that do?