5 Upstart U.S. Distillers to Watch

Courtesy Troy Roberts
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Strange Brew

Boutique American spirits are back in a big way, and have grown from more than a few dozen five years ago to more than 600 today, according The New York Times.

So what makes them special? These indie distillers are savvy marketers, says Bill Owens, founder and president of the American Distilling Institute. And what's good for business has been great for the local economies in which they're located.

"In Michigan, you can have the distillery in industrial parks and Downtown you can have a tasting room," he says, plus "people become your brand ambassadors." Here are five distilleries to keep tabs on.--Jill Krasny