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Lonely Oak Distillery Named Iowa’s Top Craft Whiskey at the 2023 Heartland Whiskey Competition page banner

Lonely Oak Distillery Named Iowa’s Top Craft Whiskey at the 2023 Heartland Whiskey Competition

October 9, 2023

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In a blind judging competition supervised by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) in St. Louis, Missouri, Lonely Oak Distillery’s Steeple Ridge Single Barrel Bourbon was judged Iowa’s best craft whiskey. The competition, sponsored in part by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, drew entries from more than half the U.S. states with only those entries containing corn in their mash bill eligible to enter, and only entries from sponsored states eligible for Best-of-State.

“With this sponsorship, our objective is to communicate the diversity of products in which corn is found, and the fact that Iowa corn farmers deeply appreciate our customers and their loyalty to our product in all forms,” Ryan Sauer, Vice President of Market Development at Iowa Corn. “We are pleased that Iowa performed well at the competition, and we encourage all our neighbors to sample our state’s craft spirits products responsibly.”

Judges were chosen by ACSA for their expertise in craft whiskey and the blind competition was supervised by Chris Montana, owner of Du Nord Social Spirits in Minnesota. The day-long competition required that judges evaluate each spirit within its category (Bourbon, Rye, etc.). Best-of-State trophies were awarded to those products that earned the highest scores in their respective states, regardless of category.

A full list of winners and sponsoring corn states can be found at the ACSA website.

“Heartland Whiskey Competition thanks the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the other state corn groups for supporting craft distillers,” Scott Kirkpatrick, Director of The Heartland Whiskey Competition added. “Craft spirit products are made from grain, largely from the states in which they distill, and many craft distillers are owned by farmers, including multiple winners from this year’s competition.  The continued interest and support from Iowa Corn Promotion Board helps distillers to better market their products.”  

For More Information:

Rachel Zumbach, Public Relations Manager,, 515-225-9242   

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