State Line Distillery helps create ‘whiskey for good’ in national collaboration
A partnership of distilleries around the country, Good Deeds Spirits, creates first cause-supporting whiskey blend, which includes a single malt whiskey from a local operation
Over the last few years State Line Distillery and other whiskey distilleries around the country have come together to be a force for good.
Starting in 2017 as the Facebook group “Good Guy Distillers,” whiskey makers thousands of miles apart have connected with the intention of creating interesting and collaborative spirits. Eventually the businesses incorporated as Good Deeds Spirits in 2021, and in February created its first malt whiskey blend.
The group — created in part by Johnny Jeffery, general manager of the Bently Heritage Estate Distillery in Nevada — stretches from distilleries in California all the way to Massachusetts. Nine distilleries including State Line in Madison contributed to the first whiskey, though many more are active in the group. The end goal of the project is to raise money that will benefit important causes to each distillery.
“As an industry, we’ve come to realize that we need to do more to change the face of distilling,” Jeffery says. “We believe this is an important first step we’re taking together.”
The inaugural offering, named Good Deeds Malt Whiskey, is made from the different whiskeys blended together over the course of two days. After blending, the mixture returns to used bourbon barrels for five months before being proofed down to 46% for release.
To do its part, State Line Distillery provided Good Deeds with its first — and oldest — single malt whiskey on site. The whiskey uses 100% Wisconsin barley, aged two years in former bourbon barrels.
Good Deeds is set up for a limited release, with only 1,000 bottles available online at Seelbach’s on Oct. 15. Proceeds will benefit the Spirits Training Entrepreneurship Program for Underrepresented Professionals Foundation, or STEPUP Foundation, which aims to increase inclusion and diversity in the drinks industry.
“As a group who says our mission is to do good, we felt this was a great start.” Jeffery says. “[It’s] a tangible way to put our skills to good use and show what a group of friends can do when they care enough about a mission.”
The STEPUP foundation provides underrepresented communities with training, encouragement and opportunities to enter the craft spirits industry. Proceeds from the Good Deeds Malt Whiskey will finance the comprehensive year-long internship program STEPUP provides.
“Good Deeds Malt Whiskey mirrors the energy and passion behind the STEPUP Foundation, a diverse blend of skills and talents married together to create an unparalleled product,” says Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO and president of STEPUP. “STEPUP is beyond grateful for Good Deeds Spirits for its significant contribution which will allow us to change the face of the industry, one intern at a time.”
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