David Dafoe, founder and CEO of beverage development company Flavorman, has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Distilling Institute (ADI).

Dafoe received the award for his “outstanding contribution to distilling”. The award celebrates his multiple businesses for their role in supporting and promoting continued innovation and formalized, hands-on education in the beverage alcohol and distilled spirits sectors.

ADI President Erik Owens presented the award to Dafoe during the 2021 ADI Conference & Vendor Expo’s closing Gala Luncheon held in Louisville, KY on Wednesday, August 25th.

The creator behind products like the original California Cooler brand, Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails and Lynchburg Lemonade, Dafoe started Pro-Liquitech (now Flavorman) in 1992 with Chiquita Brands as his first client.

In contrast to “flavor houses” that manufacture ready-made, “stock” formulations, Flavorman helps clients bring custom products to market from concept to production, planning and quality control.

“David Dafoe is the Flavorman,” said Owens during the ceremony. “He has spent his whole career creating flavors and launching brands. We may be in this RTD explosion right now, but in 1983 David was already there doing it — and he didn’t stop there.”

“In 2010, David recognized that there was no single location where someone could receive hands-on, formalized training in distilling, so he created Moonshine University,” said Owens. “A few years later, Dave got a call from the Mayor of Louisville about starting a Bourbon Certification program. In 2014, he founded The Stave & Thief Society in Louisville, where the promotion and preservation of Bourbon knowledge and culture remains a key initiative for the city.”

“Receiving this award allowed me reflect humbly on how I got here,” said Dafoe. “I landed on three explanations: first, I had great teachers; second, I found an opportunity; and third, I took action to build something. Now, I am grateful for the opportunity to pay it forward. Flavorman and Moonshine University are designed to equip others with the tools they need to identify their own opportunities to build something—and be successful doing it.”

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