Thursday, July 19, 2012

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Rowley Named Distiller's New Contributing Editor

We cover a lot of things here at the Whiskey Forge that aren't whiskey. From rum to raccoons, if you can eat it or drink it, it's fair game. But spirits and those who make them are the bedrock of my...I won't say passion; that threadbare word has lost any real meaning through overuse and conflation with mere enthusiasm. Let's instead agree that spirits and those who make them are an obsession. And, yes, I fully embrace the negative connotations as well as the positive.

Just bring your apples to the distillery
Meeting with distillers is one of the main reasons I travel. When I'm on the road, I delve into archives and historical collections about liquor. I visit bars and track down particular bartenders to keep on top of the never-ending cycle of old becoming new and new becoming old. Used bookstores, flea markets, estate sales, and antique malls are my hunting grounds for tracking down the material culture of the distilling arts.

So when Distiller magazine invited me to become contributing editor, what could I do but say yes? Distiller is the print magazine of the American Distilling Institute. Its focus is the business and industry side of beverage alcohol distilling (i.e., booze). I'll be doing book reviews and feature pieces primarily on the American distilling scene with diversions into Caribbean, South American, European, and Asian distilling when they fit the conversation.

The first feature piece I've written is on American apple spirits. Lord knows we like Laird's 100-proof bonded apple brandy around here — having killed two bottles in the last two weeks — but it's no longer the only respectable option. The piece takes a look at the history of American apple distilling  from colonial times to just about three weeks ago.

When it drops, I'll give the details.

For now, I'm working on book reviews and a longer feature'll just have to wait.