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October 27, 2017

Portland distillery gets top 'craft gin' billing in USA Today poll

Courtesy / Hardshore Distilling Co.
Courtesy / Hardshore Distilling Co.
Portland's Hardshore Distilling Company was named Best Craft Gin Distillery for 2017 in a readers' poll conducted by USA Today. The distillery is singularly focused on producing Hardshore Original Gin, its flagship and currently sole product.

Portland's Hardshore Distilling Company was named Best Craft Gin Distillery for 2017 in a readers' poll conducted by USA Today.

The company, which celebrates its first anniversary Saturday, is owned by Jordan Milne of Windham and was one of 20 finalists for the honor.

The distillery is at 53 Washington Ave., in the former J.J. Nissen Bakery building. It produces Hardshore Original Gin and plans to introduce other products.

"The support from our neighbors on inner Washington and business owners from around the greater Portland area has been truly humbling," Milne said last month when Hardshore was named one of the 20 finalists. "There's no chance we could have gotten up on our feet as quickly as we have without the help of many, many people."

The 20 finalists were picked by a panel of experts, and readers had four weeks to vote for their favorite, USA Today said.

"Many of these distilleries work in small batches using locally-sourced ingredients. Many are family-owned. All take pride in crafting unique gins worthy of sipping as well as mixing into a classic gin and tonic."

The panel that picked the 20 finalists were Emily Arden Wells (Gastronomista), Brian Christensen (Artisan Spirit Magazine), Erik Holzherr (Wisdom), Laura Johnson (Distillerista), Arthur Shapiro (Booze Business) and Olivier Ward (Gin Foundry). They were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the American craft spirits industry, according to the newspaper.

The rest of the top 10, were St. Augustine Distillery, St. Augustine, Fla.; Durham Distillery,- Durham, N.C.; New Holland Artisan Spirits, Holland, Mich.; Santa Fe Spirits, Santa Fe; Backwards Distilling Company, Mills, Wyo.; Caledonia Spirits, Hardwick, Vt.; St. George Spirits, Alameda, Calif.; Leopold Bros. Distillery, Denver; Corsair Distillery, Bowling Green, Ky.

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