ROCHESTER, NY (April 17, 2017) – Black Button Distilling, Rochester NY’s first and finest grain to glass craft distillery, and one of the top 5 Craft Distilleries in the USA according to USA Today’s 10 Best 2016 Readers’ Choice poll, is proud to announce the induction of Jason Barrett, President and Head Distiller, and Jeff Fairbrother, Production Distiller, as a member in the London based international gin industry member body, the Gin Guild. Barrett and Fairbrother are two of only five current members of the Gin Guild in the United States.
As the youngest American Master Distiller and youngest Gin Guild recognized Warden Rectifier, Barrett has achieved the highest ranking in the spirits industry — on two continents — before turning 30. The Gin Guild is a subsidiary of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, one of London’s traditional livery bodies, which was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1638. The historical role of the Worshipful Company of Distillers was to hold key responsibilities for the control and regulation of early gin distillers. Today, the Gin Guild is a spirits industry body, charged with protecting the gin trade and culture around the world. The Gin Guild promotes and encourages commitment to excellence in gin distillation and industry custodianship of the spirit category. Brand owners and producers are eligible to join in the corporate rank of Warden Rectifier.
“With less than 200 members worldwide and only five in the United States, it is huge honor to be recognized in this way,” said Barrett, who, along with Fairbrother, was sworn in at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in early April, after being invited to join the Gin Guild by the first US Gin Warden Rectifier, Stephen Gould, of Golden Moon Distillery in Colorado.
Gould recommended Barrett and Fairbrother specifically because of the innovative products like Lilac Gin and Citrus Forward Gin produced by Black Button Distilling.
“This is a very rare and distinguished honor, one that in the spirits industry is akin to being knighted,” said Barrett.
At the ceremony, the new members were “installed” as Gin Guild members in the presence of Christopher Hayman, the Chairman of the Gin Guild (whose family have been involved in gin distilling since 1863), and its Director General, Nicholas Cook. The new members swore the Guild oath to protect the spirit’s quality and production around the world, while symbolically holding juniper berries (the key botanical in Gin).
“These are exciting times for gin with bartender and consumer interest in the flexibility of the spirit driven by both a general renaissance in gin consumption as well as many new products, often with interesting contemporary twists on the traditional standard gin styles,” said Cook.
To date, there are only five Gin Guild members in the US; two of them are at Rochester’s own Black Button Distilling. In order to be inducted, members must prove their knowledge of gin and their commitment to the craft of producing and protecting gin, and provide industry references.
“Distilling is a passion of mine,” said Barrett. “I’m devoted to continuous education and innovation in the spirits industry. That’s why I went to five different distilling schools before opening Black Button Distilling, and it’s why I run a distilling school here – for the love of the spirit,” he said, noting that Black Button Distilling also installed a 50 gallon test still to aid in the production of new craft sprits.
“With our new equipment, we look forward to continuing to work on new and innovative craft spirits and to continue to protect the gin trade as a reputable craft here in the United States and abroad,” he said.
About Black Button Distilling
Black Button Distilling is the first grain-to-glass craft distillery in Rochester, NY since prohibition. Founded in 2012 and housed in a 9,000-square-foot space near Rochester’s historic Public Market, Black Button Distilling specializes in farm to still products, using unique and all-natural ingredients from local farms to craft 2,400 bottles of award-winning spirits each week, distributed in 12 states.