Pure, beautifully made spirits

In the Germain-Robin cellar
In the Germain-Robin cellar

The spirits represented by Craft Distillers are based on rigorous, old-fashioned, hands-on pot-distillation methods.

Hubert Germain-Robin evaluating product

Hubert Germain-Robin evaluating product

Craft-method means hand-made. Every brand, every bottling reflects the creative individuality of a single human being working with small, hand-operated equipment: his quirks and insights, his special talents, his innovations.

What creates authentically great distilled spirits is the intervention of the individual distiller in what can be a fairly mechanical process. In a great distilled spirit, you can taste the application of the distiller’s skill, his talent, his experience.

Spirits distilled using craft methods are an antidote to the commoditized large-production spirits you see advertised & promoted. Craft methods are about authenticity, personal attention, and love of one’s work. Our products are real.

Distillers/Cellarmen

We work with humans who have creativity, talent, commitment. Their knowledge, their work, is not theoretical: it is deeply engaged in the physical world, a kind of work that is getting scarce. They perform alchemical wonders.

Karina Abad Rojas of Los Nahuales/Alipus/Mezcalero

Richard Braastad of Maison Surrenne

Crispin Cain of Tamar Distillery & The American Craft Whiskey Distillery

Joe Corley of Germain-Robin

Hubert Germain-Robin, co-founder of Germain-Robin

Hector Vasquez of Los Nahuales/Alipus/Mezcalero

Craft Distillers in the Market

The responsibility is to represent accurately and straightforwardly what craft-method distillers do, to not cheapen their accomplishment by resorting to meaningless hype or by describing it inaccurately. We try to represent distillers with the same integrity they do their work with.

In 2004, Managing Director of Sales & Distribution Don Sutcliffe brought his rich beverage alcohol industry experience and disciplined management skill set to Craft Distillers. Over the past thirty-plus years, Don has held senior national sales and marketing management positions with the Remy Martin Group, Campari-Codorniu, Rosemount Estate, and Veritas. Don believes the hallmark of great brands and great companies is the ability to express authentic vision through genuine relationships, relationships developed by people who truly care about what they do and with whom they do it.

Emily Kunhardt manages distribution in the Northeast. She started in wine retail, worked as a broker for 9 years, then represented Germain-Robin on the West coast 1994-2004. For Craft Distillers, she moved to New York in 2004.

Lynn Bauer manages distribution west of the Rockies, including our largest market, California. She comes to us (2014) from Steve McCarthy’s Clear Creek Distillery, where she managed 22 distributors and quadrupled national sales.

Barbara Fredell, who holds an MS in Marketing Communications, manages distribution in in the South and Southeast. She started out in wine with Heritage, then spent 6 years as Midwest regional manager for Riedel. She placed Riedel in Target. She has been with Craft Distillers since 2005.

Chris Stevens, based in Denver, manages distribution in the Midwest. A CSW and CSS, Chris started out in the restaurant industry in management and purchasing, where he developed his love for wine and spirits. Don discovered him managing a large wine territory for Young’s Market and brought him on in 2008.

Ansley Coale has taught a graduate seminar on Tacitus’ Histories and Roman Numismatics at UC Berkeley, apprenticed with a dhow-builder on Lamu, walked from Lahoul to Cham, renovated Victorian buildings in San Francisco, co-founded the Germain-Robin distillery, performed Argentine tango before paying audiences, founded the marketing company Craft Distillers, walked four times from Oaxaca to Juquila, and, he hopes, helped a few human beings.