Brother Justus Whiskey Co., a Minneapolis-based craft distillery, earned the fourth spot in the annual release of 50 most innovative spirits in the world from The Spirits Business. Brother Justus is the highest-ranking American spirit of any kind on the list, including whiskey, and included beside some of the biggest and most revered players in the spirits industry. This most recent honor caps an extraordinary year of recognition and achievement for Brother Justus, resulting in more than 30 national and international awards, including “Best Minnesota Whiskey” and “3rd Best American Single Malt Whiskey” at the 2023 International Whisky Competition, and “Minnesota Whiskey Distillery of the Year” at the New York International Spirits Competition.
“It is a huge honor to be recognized by the global spirits industry as one of the most innovative spirits in the world—and the most innovative American whiskey or spirit of any kind—a recognition underscoring what we believe is the beginning of another evolution in American and peated whiskies,” said Phil Steger, Founder and CEO of Brother Justus. “From the very beginning of the research and development process, when we were a tiny distillery operating out of a basement industrial space, we set out to free the true nature of 8,000-year-old peat from smoke and ash for the first time in history, so whiskey lovers could discover flavors never tasted. And our very talented team is accomplishing that—both in production and flavor.”
The company also announced the naming of James Jefferson to Master Blender. Jefferson, a Brother Justus employee since 2016, has worked perfecting recipes for Brother Justus American Single Malt products and played a key role in the ongoing development of the company’s patent-pending Aitkin County Process® to create Cold-Peated® spirits. Jefferson has more than a decade of experience in brewing, distilling, and microbiology, with bachelor’s degrees in biology and anthropology.
“Producing tens of thousands of gallons of award-winning single malt whiskey while working with the invention of our new process requires a special talent—a deep understanding of science and nuances of flavor profiles. We’re excited James will be leading the charge with a laser focus on flavor details and future iterations of Brother Justus American Single Malt Whiskey and the Aitkin County Process®,” added Steger.
In October the company announced expansion into the Chicago market and has since made its American Single Malt and Cold-Peated® American Single Malt Whiskeys available to purchase online.
Brother Justus focuses solely on American Single Malt Whiskey, the fastest-growing whiskey category in the industry. Its core products are American, Silver (the first clear American Single Malt Whiskey in the industry made to showcase the flavor of the barley, first and foremost), and industry-applauded Cold-Peated® American Single Malt Whiskey. The company’s peat provider is American Peat Technology (APT) of Aitkin County, Minn. (a county composed of 30 percent peatlands in a state with six million acres of peat), with whom they worked together to develop a first-of-its-kind granular peat product for filtering and finishing spirits, capable of helping craft distillers all over the world make better whiskey more efficiently, with a whole new world of flavor profiles.