It’s Craft Beer & Spirits Week at Food Republic, which has us taking a close look at the small producers of fine potables. We can’t go long with all of these producers, like we previously did with 86 Co. and Cathead Vodka. But we wanted to call out some of our favorite American craft spirits makers — as decided on by the Food Republic editors and regular spirits writers — for the next time you are sitting at the bar, or standing in your favorite neighborhood bottle shop, in need of some inspiration.

Compiled by Alia Akkam, Richard Martin, Virginia Miller, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Matt Rodbard, Chad Walsh and Naren Young

Atelier Vie 
Jedd Haas founded his New Orleans craft distillery to “address the need for a greater variety of locally produced distilled spirits.” The company first earned notice with Toulouse Red, a red absinthe that is pot distilled with herbs and infused with additional herbs to create the lush red color. More recently, Atelier Vie earned a gold medal from the American Craft Distillers Association for its Euphrosine Gin #9.

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits
San Diego’s Ballast Point started out brewing beer, but their efforts making spirits have attracted even more notice. Their colorful line includes Fugu Vodka, Old Grove Gin, Three Sheets Rum and a limited-edition single malt whiskey that won bronze in the American Craft Distillers Association’s 2014 craft-spirits awards.

Berkshire Mountain Distillers
Founded in 2007, this Great Barrington, Massachusetts, distillery produces a range of award-winning products including Greylock Gin, Ragged Mountain Rum and New England Corn Whiskey made by passionate distiller Chris Weld.

Bone Spirits
The Texas craft-spirits scene is thriving (thanks, Tito’s Handmade Vodka), and this Smithville distillery attests to its creativity. Smiths, a triple-distilled vodka, is made from local grains and purified water; Moody June Gin is lush with hand-picked botanicals; and Fitch’s Goat Corn Whiskey and Moonshine celebrate fresh-milled corn.

Breckenridge Distillery
Breckenridge may be known as one of Colorado’s winter-sports meccas, but this distillery is fast becoming an après-ski favorite. Visitors can get in on the action at the 4,000-square-foot space, watching staff mash, ferment and distill products like high-rye bourbon and vodka made from snowmelt water.

Brooklyn Gin
This small-batch producer makes a beautiful gin with hand-cracked juniper berries and fresh citrus peels, which allows for a distinct lavender finish. Though the name hints at an urban pedigree, the pot stills are located 50 miles north of New York City at the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery.

Cacao Prieto
Single-origin chocolate bars and pistachio and apricot bonbons are among the products made by Cacao Prieto. But the Red Hook, Brooklyn–based company from Daniel Prieto Preston, scion of a family that has farmed organic cacao in the Dominican Republic for more than a century, doubles as a distillery. There is Don Rafael Cacao rum and Don Estaban Cacao liqueur, but the star is Widow Jane Straight bourbon whiskey. Made with limestone-rich water from the Widow Jane mine in Rosendale, New York, it’s rife with spice and caramel.

Caledonia Spirits
Caledonia Spirits is found on the banks of the Lamoille River, in the charming farming town of Hardwick, Vermont. Here, founder and organic beekeeper Tom Hardie’s love for nectar spawned the birth of delicate spirits like Barr Hill Gin, made with raw natural honey, and Barr Hill Vodka, which integrates a cold fermented version. The not-so-boozy elderberry-honey cordial makes for a distinctive digestif.

Catoctin Creek
Located in Purcellville, Virginia, which is considered the heart of Virginia wine country, this distillery has become famous for its Organic Roundstone Rye, which is aged in new Minnesota white oak casks for a period of just under two years and was awarded silver medals at the 2011 American Distilling Institute Whiskey Competition.

CH Distillery
Opened in the fall of 2013 in Chicago’s burgeoning Randolph restaurant corridor, CH Distillery is a sort of gastropub with a pretty major spirits operation attached to it — you can see it right through the big glass dividing wall. The company is an ambitious upstart that produces a high-quality vodka, two gin variations, limoncello, rum and now a bourbon, all available in sleek-looking bottles or mixed into cocktails at the restaurant. Given the frantic growth of CH’s line since they opened, we’re guessing that you’ll be hearing more about these spirits in the year ahead no matter where you live.

Charbay Distillery
This Napa Valley pioneer, run by the Karakasevic family, has been around since 1983; alembic pot-still brandy is how they first found their groove. They make everything from vodka flavored with tree-ripened fruits — the blood orange is a stunner — to rum made with Hawaiian sugarcane and Tahitian vanilla beans. There’s also a scene-stealing whiskey collection that cleverly embraces hops. Try the R5, distilled from Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA.

Fresh Oregonian fruit is a big part of the distilling process for Clear Creek.

Clear Creek Distillery
Steve McCarthy had an affinity for European spirits like Poire William eau de vie, and considering the bounty of fruit in his family’s orchard, he decided to open Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon. Recently acquired by Hood River Distillers, Clear Creek is an ode to both fresh Oregonian fruit and Alsatian and Swiss distilling techniques that yield eau de vie in lively flavors like Douglas Fir, Mirabelle plum and a sold-out Framboise. Apple brandy and local Pinot Noir grappa are also part of the mix.

Copper Fox Distillery
Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky, with its honeyed and orange notes, is the star of this Sperryville, Virginia-based distillery, which malts its own barley and flavors it with apple- and cherry-wood smoke. Other gems include a rye whiskey heavy on the smoked malt and a gin that incorporates ever-shifting botanicals from the distillery garden.

Death’s Door Spirits
Twenty-two-square-mile Washington Island sits all lonely out there in the open waters of northern Lake Michigan. In 2005, brothers and island residents Tom and Ken Koyen started growing organic winter wheat, which was originally intended for flour but ultimately formed the base of a vodka, gin and whiskey company that has a cult fan base and also gives back to local sustainability causes. The Wisconsin Wondermint Schnapps Liqueur has become a winter favorite.

Delaware Phoenix Distillery
New York’s first absinthe distiller, Cheryl Lins, uses quality herbs and wormwood hand-harvested by small family herbalists up in the western Catskills. Beyond her Walton Waters absinthe, though, Lins also makes a slew of whiskies under the Delaware Phoenix name, including the eau-de-vie-like unaged Rye Dog. Her Phoenix Rye and Phoenix Bourbon Whiskeys won awards at the 2014 Good Food Awards.

Few Spirits
The once-dry Chicago suburb of Evanston now flows with booze thanks to lawyer turned master distiller Paul Hletko of Few Spirits. Hletko has a way with small-batch spirits, like bourbons aged in charred oak barrels, spicy rye and a citrusy whiskey-based American gin.

Germain-Robin Distillery
This Mendocino, California, distillery is famous for producing one of the finest brandies in the world, with a limited production of 3,000 cases per year. They also make an absinthe that has been a personal project of assistant distiller Crispin Cain for years. Seek it out.

High West Distillery
High West is Utah’s first legal distillery to open since 1870, located in Park City, some 7,000 feet above sea level. Whiskey is the name of the game, and the pot still produces a nice selection of aged and unaged products. Seek out the rye and double rye, as well as a product called Campfire, which is described as “the world’s only, and possibly first, blend of scotch, bourbon and rye whiskeys.” They also sell a 90-day barrel-aged Manhattan — itself worth a trip to the distillery’s general store.

Hillrock Estate Distillery
When legendary master distiller Dave Pickerell (best known for his 14 years in Kentucky at Maker’s Mark) presides over your whiskey, you know it’s going to be good. At this Ancram, New York, distillery, home to owner Jeff Baker’s family farm, Pickerell makes a rich Solera-aged bourbon finished off in 20-year-old Oloroso sherry casks. Grains and malts are grown right on the Hudson Valley estate — those rolling fields in the background are filled with barley.

House Spirits Distillery
Former brewer Christian Krogstad founded House Spirits in 2005, opening in Corvallis, Oregon, before moving to the heart of what is now considered distillery row in Southeast Portland. Nearly a dozen sprits are available, including the award-winning Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, a Stumptown coffee liqueur and a number of small-batch whiskeys, including an unaged product that actually tastes good.

The experimental Brooklyn-based Industry City Distillery makes its vodka with beet sugar.

Industry City Distillery
Five friends, who also work together at design firm City Foundry, launched this experimental distillery in August 2012. It’s located in a desolate section of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which is hardly a hotbed for spirits production. But the “vodka” (by name only) the crew turns out is something special. It’s made from beet sugar, which offers more floral notes than your basic vodka.

Jack From Brooklyn
Jack Summers lost his production space in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn during the wrath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. But now the proprietor’s back, cranking out his only — and divine — specialty, hibiscus liqueur. An ode to the pervasive Caribbean drink, Sorel melds organic grain alcohol, pure cane sugar, Moroccan hibiscus, Brazilian clove and Indonesian nutmeg and cassia.

Kings County Distillery
Not only do they make a whiskey on the banks of the East River in Brooklyn, Kings County distillers Colin Spoelman and David Haskell wrote a guide to help others along their path, Guide to Urban Moonshining. A taste of their smooth-drinking bourbon suggests that they know of what they write, and a visit to their industrial distillery in Brooklyn’s rustic Navy Yard showcases a determination of spirit. Look for the medicinal bottles at a growing number of retailers carrying craft spirits.

Koval Distillery
The first distillery to open in Chicago since the mid-1800s, Koval launched in 2008 when founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker abandoned their academic careers in the name of historic Austrian distilling methods. Now they spend their days sourcing grains from local farmers, mashing and milling on the premises and making delightfully unusual offerings like single-barrel whiskey from millet, rose hip liqueur and organic sunchoke brandy.

Leopold Brothers
Brothers Scott and Todd Leopold run this environmentally sustainable distillery in Denver, Colorado, that has gained a cult following among Mile High tipplers and cocktail geeks around the country. Their Silver Tree American Small Batch Vodka is the highest ranked in the country, winning a gold medal at the 2009 San Francisco Spirits Competition. But what we’re really into is a range of fruit whiskies made with apple, peaches and blackberries.

Letherbee Distillers
This small-batch distiller broke onto the Chicago scene in 2013 with an “original label gin” and a limited “autumnal” — a smart seasonal move meant to prolong gin’s usefulness into the chillier months (the duo behind the brand suggested swapping in an orange for the usual lime). Now, Letherbee’s also touting an absinth and even a malört, that unusual Swedish concoction that has a weird following in Chicago.

New York Distilling Company
Gin’s the thing at Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s New York Distilling Company, where cofounders Tom Potter and Allen Katz turn out their signature Dorothy Parker American, Perry’s Tot Navy Strength and Chief Gowanus New Netherland renditions. Anticipation is mounting, however, over the arrival of their forthcoming, in-the-midst-of-aging rye. Sample the spirits in the form of cocktails at the Shanty, the adjacent bar that doubles as one of the neighborhood’s most welcoming lairs.

Charles and Andy Nelson produce a popular bourbon from their 30,000-square-foot Nashville distillery.

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery
This 30,000-square-foot distillery in Nashville’s Marathon Music Works building houses a Vendome still and barrel room, the tools founders Charles and Andy Nelson use to make their triple-great-grandfather’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey. While the bottling of that product is a few years away, their Belle Meade bourbon has become very popular with the locals.

North Shore Distillery
In Lake Bluff, a suburb of Chicago, Derek and Sonja Kassebaum make small-batch gins — the martini-perfect Distiller’s Gin No. 6 as well as the London dry style Distiller’s Gin No. 11 — and vodkas that include a vibrant chamomile-citrus version. There’s an aquavit and absinthe to boot, but the limited-edition releases are the most interesting, including such one-time-only finds as Ceylon Tea or Medjool Date gin.

Osocalis Distillery
Osocalis is a small artisanal distillery in Soquel, California (near Santa Cruz). The name of the game here is brandy, made using grapes and apples from the cooler coastal regions of California. The popular Alambic brandy is blended from brandies distilled using Pinot Noir, Semillon and Colombard.

Philadelphia Distilling
Pennsylvania’s first distillery since Prohibition, Philadelphia Distilling is best known for the flagship brand in its portfolio: Bluecoat, an American dry gin distilled with spicy, organic juniper berries. The company’s Vieux Carré absinthe Supérieure is popular, as are its bold XXX Shine corn whiskey and Penn 1681 Rye Vodka. But its most interesting creation yet is undoubtedly the Bay, a Chesapeake Bay spice-seasoned vodka that’s a compelling savory alternative to the surge of cloying cotton-candy flavors on the market.

Ransom Spirits
Tad Seestedt started Ransom Spirits in 1997 in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where some of the grains are grown on the farm and are milled, mashed and fermented in small batches. The distillery’s Old Tom Gin, a spot-on re-creation of a circa-1800s recipe made in collaboration with David Wondrich, gets the most buzz, but there other treasures, like a gewürztraminer grappa and Henry DuYore’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey, aged in French oak barrels.

St. George Spirits
Pioneering Northern California craft distillers St. George Spirits had already been in business 18 years when they launched their groundbreaking vodka, Hangar One. For the product, which has taken home numerous awards, they source citrus and flowers from California growers. The company’s range of products also includes whiskey, eaux de vie and three styles of gin, including one made with

Two James Spirits
Located in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, Two James — run by David Landrum and Peter Baily — is the city’s first licensed distillery since Prohibition. They are producing a range of spirits, including a gin that draws from a London dry, and a whiskey that has been made “specifically to complement the umami of the rich pork and fish broths of Japanese cuisine.”

Westland Distillery
This Seattle distillery, founded by two high school buddies, produces a well-regarded American single malt whiskey, as well as a peated malt, made with barley that is grown in Washington state.