Maryland Distillers Guild

Maryland Distillers Guild

The US state of Maryland has an impressive and long history when it comes to distilling, with its first colonist-run distilleries producing whiskey and rum as far back as the early 1500s! This long history demands a strong guild such as the Maryland Distillers Guild to continue the local distillery industry.

However, with momentous events like Prohibition and the Second World War, Maryland’s distillery history hasn’t always been on stable ground. Thankfully, though, Maryland has been enjoying a distillery boom since 2008.

Since then, new distilleries have been opening all across the state, with a fresh blend of old traditions and new spirits.

However, with so many new distilleries opening, a strong sense of unification and community was needed to help ensure that each got off the ground well.

This is where the Maryland Distillers Guild came in, a community of craft producers that’s focused on creating quality spirits, as well as educating people about their processes in dynamic tours.

In our informative guide below, we’ve got a complete look at the Maryland Distillers Guild, examining in greater depth who they are and what they do. Read on!

Where Is The Guild Located?

As you can imagine, the Maryland Distillers Guild is located in the state of Maryland in North America.

Maryland is famous for a variety of things, such as being an historic trading port and the originating place of the national anthem, but it’s also got a long and impressive history when it comes to distilling spirits.

For a few hundred years, from the early 1500s, Maryland was one of the United States’ leaders when it came to producing spirits, thanks to the surging number of distilleries opening up across the state.

In fact, before Prohibition was put in place, Maryland was the 3rd highest producer of rye whiskey – they made more than 100 different brands of it.

Maryland’s reputation for distilled spirits certainly took a hit over time, thanks to 13 tough years of Prohibition and later historical events that would cause economic changes, but the state is now firmly back on the map when it comes to distilleries.

With new distilleries opening at a record rate, Maryland is primed to become one of the key players in spirits once more.

What Is The Maryland Distillers Guild?

Founded as a response to the recent boom in new distilleries opening up across the state of Maryland, the Maryland Distillers Guild is a community of craft producers.

Their primary mission is to develop quality spirits for consumers to enjoy, but their other key focus is on delivering dynamic experiences to visitors at the distilleries.

Rather than keep the distilling a trade secret or mystery, the Maryland Distillers Guild is all about openness, with tours available at its member’s distilleries.

By taking part in the detailed tours, visitors can learn all about the distilling process, and they can even sample the locally-crafted spirits at the end.

The guild is all about sharing the enthusiasm of local spirits, celebrating the rich distilling heritage of Maryland as a whole, and securing the success of their distilleries in the future.

Who Are The Members Of The Maryland Distillers Guild?

There are currently 30 members of the Maryland Distillers Guild, encompassing a wide range of distilleries across the state, and a similarly wide range of different spirits that are being produced.

Each distillery is naturally different, with their own products and distillery tours, but they’re all unified by their membership to the Guild.

There are too many members to list each of them individually, so we’ll look at a sample of them instead.

Members include:

  • The Baltimore Spirits Company located in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Double Down Distilling located in Bethesda, Maryland
  • Dragon Distillery located in Frederick, Maryland
  • Gray Wolf Spirits located in St. Michaels, Maryland
  • Lyon Rum located in St. Michaels, Maryland
  • McClintock Distilling Company located in Frederick, Maryland
  • Pathfinder Farm Distillery located in Keedysville, Maryland
  • Southern Trail Distillery located in Mechanicsville, Maryland
  • Twin Valley Distillers located in Rockville, Maryland

Across the impressive list of members, it’s important to also point out that plenty are owned by veterans and/or women, showcasing both the rich history of distilling in Maryland and its progressive future.

Interestingly, Maryland’s distilling industry comprises 44 independent and local businesses.

Given that 30 of these are members of the Maryland Distillers Guild, this means that just 14 of Maryland’s distilleries aren’t members of the guild – which is an impressively small amount.

On top of that, some of these distilleries may still be in-planning, so they haven’t joined the community yet.

Maryland Distillers Guild (1)

What Do The Maryland Distillers Guild Do?

As we’ve touched on before, the Maryland Distillers Guild is all about creating a community of state-wide distillers that delivers quality spirits.

On top of that, they also encourage interest in the spirits by offering detailed tours of the member’s distilleries, which help to improve popularity and sales.

Spirits Of Collaboration

Additionally, the Maryland Distillers Guild has also worked together to create a unique series of locally-distilled spirits known as the “Spirits of Collaboration”.

These have been made to show the synergy of the industry, the Guild’s success in collaboration, and its initiatives and goals.

The spirits include a Gin made with the collaboration of Gray Wolf Craft Spirits and McClintock Distilling Company, a drink with a flavor profile inspired by the state’s native flavors.

Besides that, the series also includes a tamarind honey flavored rum that was made by a joint effort between members Lyon Rum and Puerto Rico Distillery.

These drinks are unfortunately only available at special occasions and Guild events, but they promote Maryland’s distilling identity strongly regardless.

Maryland Spirits Month

Meanwhile, the Maryland Distillers Guild is heavily involved in Maryland Spirits Month, which is an annual celebration of Maryland’s spirits and distilling industry.

Naturally, since most of the state’s distilleries are members of the Guild, you can expect to find heavy Guild activity here – and they also sell their Spirits of Collaboration series at events for it!

State Fees

The annual license fee for a Class 1 Distillery License in Maryland will cost you $2000.

Licensing Requirements

You’ll need a Class 1 and a Class 2 license to operate a distillery in Maryland. Both allow you to sell and deliver your product, while Class 11 allows you to distill various types of spirit, and Class 2 allows you to rectify, blend, and/or bottle the spirits.

Distillery Restrictions/Laws

The Class 1 distillery license only allows you to distill brandy, whiskey, rum, alcohol, and neutral spirits.

Final Thoughts

The Maryland Distillers Guild is a community of Maryland distillers focused on producing quality spirits, offering engaging tours, and continuing the state’s rich distilling history.

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