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Helena microdistillery Gulch Distillers entered its small batch gin in the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits competition and pulled out a silver medal, receiving national acclaim.

This was the first competition co-owners Tyrrell Hibbard and Steffan Rasile had entered their Guardian Gin.

"It's validating," Hibbard said of the award. "We've been working pretty hard on our spirits, our process and our product. We put out a product we like and that's up to our standard. The competition gives us honest feedback from industry professionals."

This has been an exceptional year for Gulch Distillers. The nearly 4-year-old business has entered only two competitions and taken great recognition at both. Earlier this year, Gulch Distillers won gold, best in class and best in show for its Burrone Fernet at the 2019 American Craft Spirits Association’s competition.

"This let's us see how we stand up against our peers in the industry," Hibbard said. "There are not a lot of other distilleries in Montana, it's cool to take a national competition."

Guardian Gin plays tribute to Helena’s iconic landmark, the “Guardian of the Gulch” fire tower. Helena’s distillery crafts this gin in small batches from a base of Montana-grown wheat and malted barley.

Hibbard describes the gin as "a simple, five-botanical structure, including juniper, coriander and angelica root, yield a big body and bold flavor through pot distillation that set Guardian apart from the many other gins in the ADI Judging."

With each competition, the word spreads further about the distillery.

“Guardian Gin is one of our favorite products,” Hibbard said. Now, others can find it and try it for themselves.

Gulch Distillers is a grain-to-glass microdistillery located at 790 Front St. Their handcrafted spirits include Triple Divide Vodka, Guardian Gin, Guardian Reserve Gin, Flintlock Spiced Rum, Fruition Apple Brandy and Burrone Fernet. The distillery tasting room is open 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Learn more at gulchdistillers.com.

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