by Corin Hirsch
In insular Vermont, sometimes it's easy to think of the beer, cider, wine and spirits produced here as our own private pleasures — until news trickles in from the world-at-large that others are taking notice as well.
Such as the beverage trade in Hong Kong, where Hardwick-produced Barr Hill Gin was anointed "Gin of the Year" at this year's Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition (where it also picked up a gold medal). Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross, who happens to be in Hong Kong on a food and agriculture trade mission, accepted the award on behalf of Caledonia Spirits, which produces the gin using local honey.
A few weeks before that, Cori Paige of the artisanal drinking podcast "Under My Host" chatted about bees and gin with a very mellow Todd Hardie and his distiller, Ryan Christiansen, on her September 25 program. In November, she placed another call to Vermont for a Veterans' Day-themed show on that included 14th Star Brewing founder Steve Gagner, an Army vet. You can find both shows here.