The Corsair Distillery has received an incredible piece of global recognition today. Fast Company magazine announced its annual ranking of the world’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food for 2015, honoring leading enterprises and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in business and innovation. Corsair was included with companies such as Panera, Hampton Creek, Tastemade, and Munchery at #4. This is truly amazing for a small microdistillery like Corsair.
Most Innovative Companies is one of Fast Company’s most significant and highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. The magazine’s editors spend months gathering and analyzing data on companies around the globe. The resulting package emphasizes the breadth of companies with progressive, nimble business models, an ethos of sustainability, and a culture of creativity. As part of the magazine’s 20th anniversary year coverage, the issue also features “20 Lessons of Innovation for 2015.”
“We are incredibly humbled by this recognition. One of our core values is innovate or die,” says owner/distiller Darek Bell. “Whiskey has been so traditional for so long that it’s really ripe for disruption. A new generation of whiskey drinkers has arrived that do not want to drink their parents' brands. They want something new.” Corsair’s nontraditional, innovative spirits have been a hit with critics, as well as consumers, winning them over 100 awards in global spirits competitions.
One of the most striking aspects of Corsair is their dedication to an Open Source philosophy that is more common to high tech companies than something as ancient as distilling. Most traditional distilleries are very secretive about their recipes and techniques, where Corsair is very open, making their recipes public through books, websites, and by teaching numerous classes. It’s no surprise that Bell wrote Alt Whiskeys, which thoroughly details alternative whiskey recipes and distilling techniques, and Fire Water, which focuses on experimental smoked malts and whiskeys.
Among the 2015 honorees are major, international brands such as Ikea, L’Oréal, and Toyota; rising newcomers like WeWork, American Giant, and Line; creative upstarts like Anki and ColorOfChange.org; data analyzers including Next Big Sound and Mark43; and world-changing biotechnology companies like Gilead Sciences and Omada Health. For the first time, six continents are represented on the list, including Australian startup Catapult; India’s Perfint Healthcare; Rwanda’s Made in Kigali; and Chile’s Algramo. Tech giants Amazon and Twitter failed to earn a spot on this year’s list.
“Our goal is to illuminate the state of innovation as it exists right now within the rapidly changing global landscape,” said Fast Company editor Robert Safian. “That’s why there are only five repeats on our Top 50 list from the list a year ago. In this economic environment, we all need to continually challenge our assumptions.” Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March 2015) is now available online at http://www.fastcompany.com/section/most-innovative-companies-2015, as well as in app form via iTunes, and on newsstands beginning February 17.
The Corsair Distillery has received numerous alcohol industry specific accolades for innovation, including two “Innovator of the Year” accolades for Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky awards as well as “Craft Distiller of the Year.” The American Distilling Institute gave Corsair the Bubble Cap Distiller of the Year award. The UK based Wizards of Whisky awards has awarded Corsair with “Craft Distiller of the Year.” Corsair Distillery Cofounder Darek Bell was recently lauded as one of Beverage Industry Magazine’s “Top 50 Disruptors.” The Spirits Business lauded him as one of the “top 10 most pioneering distillers.” The Fast Company recognition is significant because Corsair is competing in a much larger field with only 10 top spots awarded.
ABOUT FAST COMPANY Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, one of the U.S.’s leading media companies.
ABOUT CORSAIR DISTILLERY The Corsair Distillery is a small craft distillery with two locations - one in Nashville, Tennessee and one in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Corsair is known for awarding winning, unusual, and adventurous spirits. The tagline says it all: Booze for Badasses. Corsair is currently distributed in 30 states nationally and 7 countries internationally.