Thursday, October 24th, 3-4 PM EDT
As the October edition of Craft Spirits Magazine is the Brandy Issue, we welcome a panel of American brandy producers to share their stories and offer their insights on the state of the American brandy market—and what lies ahead for the category.
Joe Heron, along with his wife Lesley, is the founder of the Copper & Kings American Brandy Company. Joe and Lesley are South African born beverage entrepreneurs who have founded 3 beverage companies; Nutrisoda (sold to PepsiAmericas in 2006), Crispin Cider (sold to MillerCoors in 2012), and now Copper & Kings. All 3 companies have their roots in Louisville, Kentucky, and Joe and Lesley feel fortunate to finally be able to establish their first company actually based in Louisville.
The family have lived in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Minneapolis and now call the South home in Louisville, where they reside in the Highlands.
The Joe & Les soundtrack features My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Houndmouth, Nick Cave, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Herbie Hancock, the Clash, the Jayhawks, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Wilson Pickett, The Cherry Faced Lurchers and Bright Blue. And the Spotify Discover playlist. And the Spotify Copper & Kings Playlist of the day. And ..
Binge TV watching is a hobby – Game Of Thrones, Westworld, The Man In the High Tower, The Night Of, Stranger Things, The Wire, Mad Men, Deadwood, have had them up all night. Forest Gump makes us cry. Every time. Monty Python makes us laugh. Every time. The Coen brothers make us laugh and cry. Every time.
Joe and Lesley have 2 children – Matthew and Georgia-May, as well as a “Terrierist” – Milo, and a Springer Spaniel – Parker.
Lisa Laird Dunn is the vice president and world ambassador of Laird & Company, the oldest family-owned distillery in the United States. Lisa is the ninth generation of Lairds to sell the family’s signature Applejack brandy, a blended brandy distilled from whole apples and neutral spirits.
Family lore has it that in 1698, distiller William Laird immigrated from Scotland to Monmouth County, New Jersey and set his sights on the local abundance of apples. While the family’s distilling history extends back to Scotland, Laird & Company’s story is one born out of America’s earliest history. The company was founded by Robert Laird (William’s grandson) who served in the Revolutionary War under General George Washington
. Around 1760, Washington wrote to the Lairds asking for their applejack recipe. And, seventy years later, Abraham Lincoln ordered Laird & Company Applejack for the tavern he owned in Illinois.
Laird descendants have carried on the tradition and the business by maintaining the original brand and adding to their portfolio. In addition to Applejack, Laird & Co. make several apple brandies: the 100 proof, the 7 ½ year old, the rare 12 year old, and the newer, unaged Lightning Jack.
(Further panelists to be confirmed, and information to be updated accordingly)