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Two years ago, Adam Polonski was a journalist covering craft distilleries for a whiskey-focused trade magazine. Today, he’s a co-founder of his own brand, Lost Lantern, an independent bottler of American whiskey.
Polonski is among the small but growing group of media pros who have transitioned from writing about alcoholic beverages into the hands-on business of making spirits. While it’s not unusual for journalists to become practitioners in the fields they once covered, it doesn’t happen all that often in the booze world. For spirits, it’s more common to see people switch tracks from corporate or entrepreneurial jobs; more recently, bartenders have entered the distillery-world fray.
But booze writers, armed with deep product knowledge and enabled by access to contract distilleries and other facilities that make the liquid, are increasingly stepping into the production side. Few are actually involved in the process of distillation, but they are finding ways to get their vision onto shelves and into consumers’ glasses.
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