Long Road Distillers has been named the Best Craft Brandy Distillery in the country by the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. The company was nominated in the “Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery”, “Best Craft Gin Distillery”, “Best Craft Vodka Distillery”, and “Best Craft Brandy Distillery” categories for 2019 and placed in the top three in all four categories. Long Road topped the list of 20 American distilleries in the craft brandy division.
On Monday, October 14, the distillery will release their latest batch of Long Road Apple Brandy, the award-winning spirit made from Michigan-grown apples and aged in used whisky barrels. The release will take place at both their Grand Rapids and Grand Haven tasting rooms beginning at 4 pm, where guests can enjoy half-off sample pours and featured cocktails as well as purchase bottles to-go.
Readers of USA Today casted votes over the course of the past month to name the 10 best craft distilleries in a variety of spirit categories. Long Road was named second best Craft Gin Distillery and third best Craft Vodka and Craft Specialty Spirits distillery.
“We’re extremely proud of these honors,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner and founder of Long Road Distillers. “We were fortunate to be nominated in more categories than any other distillery in the country, and to place in the top three in all four categories is a testament to the hard work and dedication our team pours into every bottle of Long Road spirit.”
The timing of the announcement aligns perfectly with Long Road’s annual release of Apple Brandy.
“As a small-batch distillery, we only lay down a few barrels of brandy each year,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and founder of Long Road Distillers. “We’re excited for people to try the latest batch of this limited release spirit – we think it’s the best yet!”
Long Road Apple Brandy is made from a selection of heirloom apples grown by Shaefer Orchard in nearby Conklin, Michigan. The 80-proof spirit has been aged in used whisky barrels for over a year, allowing flavors to mellow and develop over time, resulting in bright apple and honey aromas, with a slightly sweet toffee finish.
Long Road’s no-shortcuts approach to crafting spirits and a dedication to using locally sourced ingredients has earned them numerous honors and awards, as well as international acclaim for some lesser-known spirits categories, such as Aquavit. Their spirits can be found at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side, at tasting rooms in Grand Haven and Boyne City, and at over 1,750 retailers, bars, and restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.