Soliciting Nominations for Inaugural Hall of Fame Class, Billboards Statewide & Surprise Rounds of Free Craft Cocktails – All Part of Distillery’s Plans to Celebrate Wisc. Brandy Old Fashioned Month
Starting Thursday, Central Standard Craft Distillery Co-Founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan are launching a month-long campaign encouraging Wisconsinites to request hand-crafted brandy from local, family-owned distilleries in their Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned cocktails.
“We’d love for everyone to ask for our North Wisconsin brandy when ordering their Old-Fashioned cocktails,” McQuillan said. “But more importantly, we want to encourage people to drink locally, support hard-working Wisconsin families and taste brandy from local distillers.”
To build awareness for their drink-local crusade, Hughes and McQuillan worked with the Wisconsin governor’s office to proclaim September Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month and the first day of fall (Sept. 22 in 2022) as Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Day.“
Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month is all about showcasing and connecting Wisconsinites with great local distilleries,“ said Hughes, who is also a board member of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild. “Here in Wisconsin, the spirits industry supports more than 39,000 jobs from family farmers and truck drivers to glass-bottle makers and those in the hospitality industries. In all, Wisconsin distilleries impact billions of dollars in economic activity each and every year in our state.”
An All-New Hall of Fame Worthy of Wisconsin
Starting Thursday, Hughes and McQuillan will ask folks from across the state and country to nominate individuals deserving of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame status. Anyone can nominate a potential hall of famer by going online to thecentralstandard.com/brandy-old-fashioned-hall-of-fame and explaining why he or she is worthy in 50 words or less.
“We continually hear almost unbelievable Brandy Old Fashioned stories — 88-year-old grandmothers who enjoy one every week; bartenders who’ve perfected their recipe over decades; and folks who’ve moved away but return home every month as they just can’t find a quality Old Fashioned outside Wisconsin,” Hughes said. “This new hall of fame will commemorate those stories and honor everyday folks who love and celebrate the Brandy Old Fashioned.”
Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 30, the last day of Brandy Old Fashioned month. A panel of judges will select the inaugural class of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees based on the strength of their nomination and their Brandy Old Fashioned story. The honorees will be announced in mid-October.
Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees will receive a year’s supply of North Wisconsin brandy; a custom bottle of North Wisconsin brandy with their photo on it; lifetime VIP status at the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen, the Midwest’s first urban distillery and restaurant, which opened last August at 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee; and their photo displayed in the Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame in the Founders’ Room at the Crafthouse & Kitchen.
A Wisconsin-Wide Grassroot Effort
Starting Thursday, Hughes and McQuillan will also begin advertising their drink-local campaign on billboards statewide. In addition, Central Standard will offer a specialty Old Fashioned cocktail menu and sell commemorative t-shirts, as well as posters at their Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen.
“When we ask, people share that they often order the same old brandy because that’s just what they’ve always done,” McQuillan added. “When they taste ours and others made here in Wisconsin, they’re floored by the flavor. That’s our ask: Next time you order an Old Fashioned, and especially during Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month, give one from a local Wisconsin distillery a try as we’ll put the taste of our North Wisconsin brandy up against any competitors across the country or around the world.”
Along with the billboards and hall of fame, Hughes and McQuillan are:
- Offering a free Brandy Old Fashioned toast at a special Crafthouse & Kitchen happy hour on Sept. 6.
- Surprising Wisconsinites by buying folks Old Fashioned cocktails made with North Wisconsin brandy at establishments around the state on Sept. 22, which is Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Day.
- Unveiling Central Standard’s next Brewmasters Series collaboration and a few additional surprises.